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On October 16, 2010, about 1825 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built RV6A, N13KN, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Monticello Sky Ranch Airport (GA06), Monticello, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to written statements provided to the NTSB, several eyewitnesses observed the airplane as it became airborne. All of the witnesses observed the airplane begin a left roll until the wings were perpendicular to the ground, impact the ground, and an "immediate explosion on impact" occurred. One witness estimated that the airplane climbed to 100 feet above ground level before it began the roll to the left. Two of the eyewitnesses reported that they heard the engine sound and it "remained constant until impact."
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 56, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 28, 2009, and at that time the pilot indicated 1,034 total hours of flight experience. The pilot logbooks had not been located at the time of this writing.
According to FAA records, the airplane was constructed from a kit in 2002 by the accident pilot/owner and was issued a special airworthiness certificate on December 28, 2002. It was equipped with a Lycoming O-320-D1A engine and a Sensenich propeller. The airplane and engine maintenance logbooks had not been found at the time of this writing.
The 1819 recorded weather observation at Baldwin County Airport (MLJ), Milledgeville, Georgia, located approximately 26 miles to the southeast of the accident location, included calm wind, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 19 degrees C, dew point 7 degrees C, and altimeter 30.11 inches of mercury.
The privately owned airport was equipped with a single turf runway oriented southeast to northwest and designated 14/32. The runway was 3900-feet-long and 80-feet-wide. The airport did not have an air traffic control tower.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMAITON
Examination of the airplane by a FAA inspector found that the airplane impacted the ground in the vicinity of a tree line. It was located near the south edge of the airport property and approximately 450 feet east of the extended runway centerline. The edge of the vertical stabilizer, the outboard section of the right wing, measuring 1 foot, and the outboard section of the left wing, measuring 3 feet, remained intact; the rest of the wings, fuselage, and cockpit area were impact and fire damaged. The engine was separated and located in the tree line about 20 feet from the main wreckage.
A follow-on examination was conducted by a NTSB investigator on October 26, 2010. Control continuity was confirmed from the left aileron to the control stick, continuity was confirmed on the right side from the stick to the thermal damage on the wing. The outboard approximate 2 feet of the right wing was thermally damaged. Continuity was confirmed from the elevator to the control stick and from the rudder to the rudder pedals. Continuity and compression was confirmed through the engine. The bottom sparkplugs were removed and some appeared oil soaked. All three propeller blades were impact separated at varying lengths. The bottom half of the carburetor was impact separated, the top half remained attached at the oil sump. The magnetos exhibited thermal damage and were unable to produce spark.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The division of Forensic Sciences for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations performed an autopsy on the pilot. The reported cause of death was "blunt force head and torso trauma."
Toxicological testing was performed post mortem at the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The report stated that no carbon monoxide or cyanide was detected in the blood, and no ethanol was detected in vitreous samples. The report stated that 0.066 ug/mL, ug/g Desmethylesertraline was detected in the blood, 0.03 ug/mL, ug/g Sertraline was detected in the blood, and Desmethylsertraline and Sertraline were detected in the urine.
According to the 2008 edition of Drug Facts and Comparisons, Sertraline (commonly known by the trade name Zoloft), is a prescription antidepressant medication. Desmethylsertraline is a metabolite of Sertraline. It also carries a warning that taking the medication "may impair mental and/or physical ability required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks (e.g., driving, operating heavy machinery)."
According to the FAA's Aerospace Medical Research database, the therapeutic range of Sertraline in blood was 0.01 – 0.20 ug/ml.
In April 2010, the FAA allowed Special Issuance for medication in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class. The requirement for the Special Issuance was an evaluation of the underlying condition and a period of observation while taking the medication. According to documentation provided by the FAA, no Special Issuance was given and no report of the pilot taking the medication was noted on his most recent medical certification. No personal medical records could be located at the time of this writing.