ERA12CA564
ERA12CA564

The pilot/owner stated that he was conducting an experiment to see where on the runway the airplane would touch down using RNAV/GPS guidance. He said he became preoccupied with the instrumentation in the airplane, landed hard, and did not realize that he had done "serious damage" to the airplane. Examination of a video recording submitted by a witness revealed two high-speed, shallow approaches to the runway. On the first approach, the airplane travelled well past the normal touchdown zone at a high rate, touched down briefly, and then climbed back into the traffic pattern. On its second approach, the airplane crossed the runway threshold at a high rate, low altitude, and at a shallow approach angle. The airplane then struck the ground in a flat attitude, the nose landing gear separated from the airframe, and the propeller struck the runway. The airplane then pitched up, the engine noise increased, the tail struck the runway, and the airplane climbed out of sight at a shallow angle. The airplane subsequently collided with containers and vehicles in a commercial lot approximately one-half mile from the departure end of the runway. In a telephone interview, when asked about the performance and handling of the airplane, the pilot said, "I cannot blame the accident on the airplane."

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