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On June 9, 2012, about 0805 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Flower model JD, N9010T, was destroyed when it impacted the ground following an in-flight separation of the left wing. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane sustained damage to all major structures during the accident sequence. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Greene County-Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport, near Dayton, Ohio, at an unconfirmed time.
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, instrument airplane, and glider ratings. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot had accumulated over 7,000 hours of flight time as of his most recent medical examination on May 5, 2010. He was issued a third-class airman medical certificate on that date with a restriction to have corrective lenses available for near vision. The pilot’s flight logbook was not available for review during the investigation.
The accident airplane was an original design amateur-built airplane. It was designed and built by the pilot. The airplane was a single-engine monoplane with a conventional landing gear arrangement. It used a fabric covered, welded steel tube structure in the fuselage and tail surfaces. The wings were made of a mixture of wood and composite material with wood spars as the primary load structure. A General Motors (GM) LS-1, reciprocating V-8 engine powered the airplane.
Weather conditions at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (FFO), located about 15 miles northwest of the accident site, at 0755, were: calm wind, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 25,000 feet agl, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The main wreckage came to rest in a grass field in a rural area northeast of Spring Valley, Ohio. Located in the debris field of the main wreckage were the fuselage, engine, tail surfaces, and the right wing.
The fuselage was severely damaged and crushed. The tail surfaces remained attached to the remains of the fuselage with their respective control surfaces still attached. The right wing was heavily damaged and separated from the fuselage. The wing had broken into several pieces and was distributed throughout the main debris field. The right wing control surfaces were also located within the main debris field. The damage to the right wing was consistent with it having remained attached to the fuselage until being separated by ground impact. The left wing of the airplane was located about 1/2 mile east of the main wreckage. The wing was predominately intact. The wing control surfaces were separated. Examination of the inboard end of the left main wing spar revealed that the wood structure of the spar had failed and separated through the spar attachment bolt locations.
The engine had sustained impact damage and could not be rotated. No further examination of the engine was performed.
Postaccident examinations of the airframe revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation other than the separated spar previously described.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
An autopsy of the pilot was performed by the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, Dayton, Ohio, on June 10, 2012. The pilot's death was attributed to injuries received in the accident.
Toxicology testing was performed by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute. Testing results found:
>> Ethanol detected in brain
>> 22 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in muscle