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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA16LA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in Deland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: ATKINSON EAGLET, registration: N5AQ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The sport pilot of the experimental, amateur-built motorglider reported that, after takeoff, the primary engine experienced a total loss of power about 75 ft above ground level, and the secondary engine was unable to maintain the motorglider’s altitude. The pilot tried to make a 180° turn back to the airport, but the motorglider lost altitude and struck the top of pine trees. The primary engine was a 17-hp reciprocating engine designed for use in model aircraft, and the secondary engine was an electric motor. Both engines were necessary to produce enough power for takeoff. The pilot stated that, after takeoff, the motorglider encountered turbulence, which likely resulted in the separation of the primary engine’s ignition plug.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • A total loss of engine power during initial climb due to a separation of the ignition plug.