WPR10LA292
WPR10LA292

On June 14, 2010, at 1245 mountain daylight time, an Air Creation GTE, N227EH, collided with residential telephone and power lines immediately after takeoff from a local school yard in Springville, Utah. The pilot operated the experimental category weight-shift light sport aircraft (LSA) under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The non-certificated pilot was killed, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot, age 59, did not hold a pilot certificate or medical certificate. The pilot’s son stated that the pilot had flown hang gliders in the 1970’s, but had never flown a motorized one before. The pilot purchased the aircraft on March 19, 2010. The pilot’s son indicated that the pilot had not received any instruction in the aircraft, and that this was his first flight.

The tandem seat aircraft, serial number GTE503601, was manufactured in 2004. It was powered by a Rotax 503, 50 hp engine, and equipped with a Powerfin 3-bladed propeller. Review of copies of maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection was completed May 8, 2009, and the airframe total time was 130 hours. The pilot’s son believed the aircraft had 186 total airframe hours at the time of the accident.

Witnesses observed the aircraft, which resembled a powered hang glider, accelerate and takeoff from an open school yard. Immediately after it got airborne it impacted telephone and power lines that ran along the road that demarcated the end of the school yard.

An amateur video recording of the accident flight was provided to the Safety Board Investigator by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the scene, and who had received the video from a witness. The video depicts a red and white motorized hang glider accelerate across a school yard baseball field, become airborne, and 2 seconds later, impact residential telephone and power cables directly in its path. The aircraft rotated violently around the power lines and came to rest on the street below. The engine could be heard operating all the way up to the aircraft's collision with the power lines. The power lines are estimated to have been approximately 35 feet above the ground.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot June 15, 2010, by the State of Utah Medical Examiner, Salt Lake City, Utah. The autopsy findings include multiple blunt force injuries. The cause of death was reported as the result of the blunt force injuries to the head and torso.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report stated no ethanol was detected in urine. The following screened drugs were detected; 0.578 ug/ml 7-amino-clonazepam detected in liver, 7-amino-clonazepam detected in urine, 10.77 ug/ml acetaminophen detected in urine, 1.893 ug/ml codeine detected in urine, 0.144 ug/ml dihydrocdeine detected in urine, 0.326 up/ml hyrdocodone detected in urine, 0.325 ug/ml hydromophone detected in urine, and 3.198 up/ml morphine detected in urine.

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