Sunday, March 25, 2012

Gardan GY-201 Minicab, built by Frank Enbody, N416FC: Accident occurred March 24, 2012 in Granite Shoals, Texas

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA203
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 24, 2012 in Granite Shoals, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2014
Aircraft: ENBODY FRANK GY 201 MINICAB, registration: N416FC
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane within a mile of the departure airport and hearing the engine sputter before a total loss of engine power. One witness stated that it sounded like the engine was starved of fuel. The airplane then descended and impacted a tree and terrain. A postaccident examination of the amateur-built airplane revealed that about 75 percent of the carburetor fuel screen was blocked by dirt and debris, which would have decreased the fuel flow to the engine, resulting in a partial loss of engine power. The examination also revealed that duct tape was used to patch holes in the fabric skin and on a fuel line connection, and "C" clamps that were used to support the wing rib to spar attachments. The airplane's logbooks were not recovered during the investigation; however, the overall condition of the airplane suggests that it had not been properly maintained.

The level of postmortem ethanol detected in the pilot's blood, urine, and vitreous fluid would have caused significant impairment; however, the pilot was soaked in gasoline as a result of the accident and postmortem exposure to gasoline containing ethanol has been shown to result in positive ethanol results. Therefore, it cannot be determined what portion, if any, of the ethanol found post mortem was from ingestion. The pilot's impairment from both hydrocodone and tramadol most likely degraded his decision-making ability.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of a contaminated carburetor fuel screen. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment from medications that degraded his decision-making and the pilot's improper maintenance of the airplane.


On March 24, 2012, at 1824 central daylight time, an amateur built Enbody model GY 201 Minicab, N416FC, impacted terrain in a residential area in Granite Shoals, Texas, shortly after departing from the Sunrise Beach Airport (2KL), Sunrise Beach Village, Texas. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger received serious injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to the pilot and was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which was not operating on a flight plan. The flight originated from 2KL just prior to the accident.

The departure airport was served by a single runway: 12/30; however, the runway direction that was used for departure could not be determined by available witness statements. Several witnesses located within a mile southeast of the airport reported that they saw and heard the airplane. One witness reported seeing the airplane flying to the east before it turned to the north. The witnesses reported hearing the engine sputtering/backfiring before it lost engine power. One witnesses stated the engine sounded like it was "….starving for fuel." The airplane then descended into terrain.


The pilot, age 74, held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating. The pilot did not hold a current airman medical certificate, nor was he required to hold a medical certificate to operate a light-sport aircraft. The last Federal Aviation Administration airman medical certificate issued to the pilot was a third class medical issued on December 15, 2003. The pilot reported having 400 hours of total flight time on the application for his last medical certificate. A pilot logbook was located during the investigation. The last entry in the logbook was dated July 7, 1998. The total flight time listed on that date was 359.5 hours.

The pilot held a Repairman Experimental Aircraft Builder certificate for the accident aircraft. This certificate was issued on September 8, 1994.


The airplane was a 1994 amateur built, experimental GY 201 Minicab, serial number 01. The pilot was the airplane builder. The GY 201 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane, 2-place, tail wheel airplane. The airplane was primarily constructed out of wood and fabric. The airplane was powered by a Continental C85 engine. No airframe or engine logbooks were located during the investigation. The tachometer time at the time of the accident was 88.68 hours. The airplane had a maximum takeoff weight of 1,250 pounds, a cruise speed of 94 knots, and a maximum stall speed of 40 knots. As such, the airplane met the FAA definition of a light-sport aircraft.


At 1835, the weather reported at the Horseshoe Bay Resort Airport (DZB), Horseshoe Bay, Texas, located 5 miles south-southeast of the accident site was: Wind calm; 10 miles visibility; clear skies; temperature 26 degrees Celsius; dew point 15 degrees Celsius; altimeter 29.96 inches of mercury.


The airplane impacted a tree and then terrain, coming to rest up against a wooden fence in a residential yard located about 3/4 miles southeast of 2KL. The airplane came to rest on its left side. The outboard portion of the left wing and aft fuselage separated from the airplane during the impact sequence.

Flight control continuity was established to the extent possible. All of the fractured control cables were consistent with overload separations. Several of the wing ribs were clamped with "C" clamps to metal brackets mounted on the wing spar. Several areas of duct tape patches were found on the fabric skin.

The engine rotated freely when the propeller was turned by hand and continuity was established throughout the engine. Thumb compression was established, with the compression being lower on cylinders 1 and 3. Several fuel lines were noted to be degraded. Safety wire was not present on the screws which held the carburetor together. The carburetor fuel screen was about 75 percent blocked with dirt and debris. Duct tape and cable-ties were found on the fuel line connection near the fuel tank. Both the engine driven and electric fuel pumps were intact. It is unknown how much fuel was on board at takeoff and the fuel tank was ruptured, but there was a strong odor of automotive fuel at the accident site.


An autopsy was performed on the pilot on March 25, 2012, at the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office, Austin, Texas. The autopsy report indicated that the pilot's remains were soaked in fuel.

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The test results revealed:

169 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Urine

161 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Blood

162 (mg/dL, mg/hg) Ethanol detected in Vitreous

15.05 (ug/ml, ug/g) Acetaminophen detected in Urine

Cetirizine NOT detected in Blood

Cetirizine detected in Urine

Citalopram detected in Urine

0.21 (ug/ml, ug/g) Citalopram detected in Blood

Dextromethorphan detected in Blood

Dextromethorphan detected in Urine

Dextrorphan detected in Blood

0.029 (ug/mL, ug/g) Dihydrocodeine detected in Urine

Dihydrocodeine NOT detected in Blood

Gabapentin detected in Urine

Gabapentin NOT detected in Blood

0.031 (ug/ml, ug/g) Hydrocodone detected in Blood

0.185 (ug/ml, ug/g) Hydrocodone detected in Urine

N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Urine

0.04 (ug/ml, ug/g) N-Desmethylcitalopram detected in Blood

Tramadol detected in Urine

0.724 (ug/mL, ug/g) Tramadol detected in Blood

Ethanol is primarily a social drug with a central nervous system depressant. Ethanol is also an additive in automotive fuel.

N-desmethylcitalopram is a metabolite of Citalopram. Citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used as an antidepressant and marketed under the brand name Celexa.

Dihydrocodeine is a metabolite of hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is an opiod analgesic prescribed as a Schedule II controlled substance that is commonly marketed under various brand names including Vicodin, Lartab, and Norco. Hydrocodone may impair mental and physical abilities.

Tramadol is an opioid pain medication that may impair mental and physical abilities.

Dextromethorphan is a non-sedating cough medication.

Cetirizine is a sedating antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms.

Gabapentin is a prescription medication used to treat chronic or neuropathic pain or to help prevent seizures.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA203 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 24, 2012 in Granite Shoals, TX
Aircraft: ENBODY FRANK GY 201 MINICAB, registration: N416FC
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 24, 2012, at 1824 central daylight time, an amateur built GY 201 Minicab, N416FC, impacted the terrain in a residential area in Granite Shoals, Texas, shortly after departing from the Sunrise Beach Airport (2KL), Sunrise Beach Village, Texas. The pilot was fatally injured and the passenger received serious injuries. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The local flight had departed just prior to the accident.

Witnesses reportedly heard the engine sputtering after the airplane took off. The location of the accident was approximately 1 mile south of the departure airport.

A plane crash earlier tonight killed one man and injured another. Officials said it crashed into a residential yard in Granite Shoals, Texas Department of Public Safety reported.

Pilot Frank Rollin Enbody of Horseshoe Bay died in the crash, a Public Safety officer said, and 19-year-old Joshua Brandon Araiza of Granite Shoals was airlifted to University Medical Center Brackenridge with incapacitating injuries.

Araiza was in good condition, a Brackenridge spokeswoman said just before 10 p.m.

Enbody, 76, was flying out of the Sunrise Beach Airport and headed east. A preliminary investigation determined that the engine on the plane - an Experimental craft built from a kit - stopped, the Public Safety officer said. Witnesses said they heard the engine on the craft sputter and die, the officer said. Enbody was attempting to return to the airport, when at 6:32 p.m. he crashed into the yard of a home in the 200 block of Shorewood Drive in Granite Shoals, the officer said. He died at the scene.

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Saturday night's flight on a single-engine plane was Joshua Araiza's first flight on an airplane, a short trip that ended in a crash in Granite Shoals that left the pilot dead.

The crash, aboard a small home-made plane around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, left the 76-year-old pilot Frank Enbody dead. His passenger was Araiza, 19, a friend of his grandson. Araiza, who was taken to UMC Brackenridge, suffered minor injuries but is expected to make a full recovery.

Witnesses reported hearing the engine make sputtering sounds before the plane went down. The plane, a CAB GY 201 Minicab, came down in between two houses and landed in a tree. Witnesses praised Enbody's skills as a pilot, saying he had avoided heavily residential areas.

The CAB GY 201 Minicab is a experimental plane built from a kit, based on the designs of planes just after World War II. According to FAA records, Enbody built the plane back in 1994.

NTSB and FAA were at the crash site on Sunday morning to investigate the accident. Araiza was expected to be released from Brackenridge on Sunday afternoon.

Frank Rollin Enbody of Horseshoe Bay has been confirmed as the pilot killed in the crash of an experimental plane in Granite Shoals about 6:20 p.m.Saturday, Granite Shoals Police Capt. Clint Low said.

Chief J.P. Wilson said the crash occurred north of Bluebriar Park on the shores of Lake LBJ. A reporter on the scene said the plane crashed into a fence near a house on Shorewood Drive.

Wilson said the male passenger on the plane, identified as Joshua Brandon Araiza, sustained serious injuries and was taken by airlift to UMC-Brackenridge in Austin.

Low said the pilot had flown from Sunrise Beach airport. FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators were on the scene Sunday morning.