NTSB Identification: WPR14FA037
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 28, 2013 in McMinnville, OR
Aircraft: MUSICK LANCAIR O 235, registration: N25DM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 28, 2013, about 1300 Pacific daylight time, a Musick Lancair O-235, N25DM, was conducting a low-level aerobatic maneuver and collided into a house in a residential neighborhood in McMinnville, Oregon. The pilot was the registered owner, and was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. The local personal flight departed from McMinnville Municipal Airport, McMinnville, about 1215. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
A friend of the pilot, who was also a pilot and airplane owner based in McMinnville, stated that they had met at the airport that morning to conduct a business transaction. Around 1000 they finished, and the pilot stated that he was intending to fly the accident airplane. The pilot noted that he hadn't flown in for a while and asked the friend to accompany him on the flight. The friend declined due to previously planned engagements, and that was the last time they interacted.
The pilot purchased 9.2 gallons of 100LL avgas and departed about 20 minutes later. A helicopter certified flight instructor (CFI), was flying with a student in the traffic pattern around the same time as the pilot. He stated that the pilot was performing touch-and-go practice takeoff and landings on runway 04. The pilot was making wide patterns to the runway and would then leave the pattern for a short time and reappear. While the CFI was in a low hover, the pilot made a radio transmission on the common airport frequency (UNICOM). The pilot stated that he was having trouble with his landing position indicators and that only two of the airplane's three landing gear lights were illuminated. The pilot requested for the CFI to look at the landing gear's position while he performed a low-level pass over the runway.
The pilot maneuvered the airplane about 20 to 40 feet above ground level (agl) as he passed over runway 04. The CFI observed all the landing gear to be extended and told the pilot of his observation. The pilot communicated that the conflicting observation was confusing, because the landing gear lights indicated that the right gear was not in the down and lock position. The pilot further stated that he was going to gain some altitude and manually retract and extend his landing gear in an attempt to rest the lights. He made a departure from the traffic pattern to the northeast and made no further communications.
Numerous witnesses observed the airplane performing a loop and then diving toward the house in steep nose-low attitude. The witness that resides in the house stated that she heard a loud bang and ran outside uninjured.
The main wreckage was located in a garage, which was situated at the most easterly end of a single-family residence, and about 3.4 miles from the airport on a bearing of 304 degrees. The main wreckage consisted of the empennage, cockpit area, vertical stabilizer, and a majority of the rudder. Both wings, horizontal stabilizers, and elevator control surfaces were found in the debris field, which stretched about 100 feet and was primarily west of the garage.
The main wreckage came to rest on a wall dividing two rooms: an office (to the south) and a bedroom (to the north). The debris path from the main wreckage was on a bearing of 285° degrees. The garage's exterior impact damage consisted of a hole about 12 feet by 12 feet at its longest points. Inside the structural, 2 x 4 ceiling gussets were knocked free. The fuselage and area forward of the firewall came to rest in the bedroom, and the engine was about 15 feet to the west in the bathroom.
The airframe and engine were recovered to a facility for further examination.
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A pilot was killed when a plane crashed into a house in McMinnville on Monday afternoon, according to McMinnville police.
The pilot was identified as 56-year-old Charles W. Yochelson of Sheridan, Ore.
The crash happened at about 1:15 p.m., witnesses said. The plane was lodged inside a garage at a house near N.W. 22nd St. and Elm St.
"There wasn't any smoke coming from it. I didn't hear any sputtering," said Dustin Lynch. "It was a loud 'whoosh' like you would hear before an explosion, like the big suction before a backdraft or something like that, which is what caused me to look up."
Bob Schaefer said he saw the plane crash into the house. He ran toward the crash with another man.
"We start running down there. I start running after him. He got into the house first, because in the back, there's a door open. He got to the pilot. He's feeling the pilot for pulse and what not. He didn't get any, so he figured he was dead," said Schaefer.
No one else was hurt in the crash. A woman who was inside the home during the crash escaped safely, along with her pets. She said she was working on her computer in another room when the plane crashed through the house.
Yochelson was flying a Lancair aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. He was the only person on board the plane.
The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA are investigating what caused the crash.
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An airplane has crashed into a home in McMinnville, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Allen Kenitzer said it is unknown at this time why the plane, a Lancair, crashed into the home. According to local authorities, the pilot died, possibly on impact when the single-engine plane plunged into the garage. The identity of the pilot is being withheld until family is notified.
The resident of the home, Katie Van Cleave was not injured and left the house with her three dogs, also unharmed. She said damage was extensive, although the crash did not trigger an explosion or a fire.
Van Cleave said she was doing homework when the plane crashed shortly after 1 pm. She said the plane missed her by about 7 feet.
She planned to stay with relatives tonight. "That is what families are for when a plane comes into your house," she said.
One of the roofers working on a neighbor's house told Van Cleave he took the pulse of the pilot, but none was detectable.
The plane came down in a residential neighborhood near McMinnville Adventist Christian School. Kyle Johnson, 9, said he saw the plane go down along with a teacher and another student.
"I thought he was doing tricks," he said. "And then I heard a boom."
The incident is under investigation by the FAA and by the National Transportation Safety Board. Kenitzer said it could take the NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for why the plane crashed.