Friday, March 11, 2016

Remos GX, N28GX, New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC: Fatal accident occurred March 11, 2016 near Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Espanola, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Analysis 

The private pilot was conducting a personal flight in the airport traffic pattern. A witness reported seeing the single-engine airplane enter left traffic for runway 16 and land. The airplane then made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. The witness reported that, while airplane was turning from the crosswind leg to the downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground. Another witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport and then saw the airplane make a left turn. He stated that, while the airplane was in the left turn, it pitched nose-down and descended toward the ground. The witness also noted that the airplane's engine sounded normal during the flight.

A postaccident examination established that the airplane had impacted the ground in a nose-low attitude and was destroyed by impact and postimpact fire damage. The examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane during the flight. Based on the witness descriptions and the impact geometry, it is likely that the pilot did not maintain adequate airspeed during the left turn, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while operating in the airport traffic pattern, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall at a low altitude. 

Findings

Aircraft
Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern crosswind
Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Post-impact
Fire/smoke (post-impact)
Explosion (post-impact)

Karen Young and her husband at the Los Alamos Airport. 

Thomas Spickermann


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N28GX



Location: Española, NM
Accident Number: CEN16FA122
Date & Time: 03/11/2016, 1627 MST
Registration: N28GX
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 11, 2016, about 1627 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau Remos GX airplane, N28GX, impacted terrain following a loss of control in the airport traffic pattern at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Española, New Mexico. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed E14 about 1620 with the intended destination of Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to the operator, the airplane was based at SAF, and the pilot rented it to gain familiarity with the takeoff-and-landing procedures used at the Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico. Because of the restricted airspace immediately to the south of the runway and the noise-sensitive residential area just west of the runway, LAM employs a non-standard traffic pattern. All landings are made on runway 27, and all departures are made in the opposite direction on runway 9.

A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar data established that the airplane departed SAF about 1350, flew north-northwest toward LAM, and landed about 1405 on runway 27 at LAM. At 1417:25, the airplane reappeared on radar after it departed LAM on runway 9. The airplane flew about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before it returned to land on runway 27 about 1427. At 1433:25, the airplane reappeared on radar after it departed LAM on runway 9. The airplane again flew about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before it returned to land on runway 27 about 1443. At 1449:13, radar data indicated that the airplane had departed LAM and that it continued northeast toward E14. At 1455:29, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 3.3 miles southwest of E14.

The airplane was equipped with a GlobalStar SPOT satellite tracking device, which reported its position every 5 minutes when activated. According to available track data, the device recorded the airplane on the ramp at E14 about 1503. During the next 15 minutes, the device recorded three stationary data points, consistent with the airplane parked on the airport ramp. No position reports were recorded between 1518 and 1627. At 1627:31, a final data point was recorded near the approach end of runway 16. The GlobalStar SPOT data did not include any altitude information. Additionally, there was no recorded ATC radar data for the accident flight because the airport traffic pattern altitude at E14 was below available radar coverage for the area.

There were two witnesses to the accident flight. Both witnesses were standing outside a residence located about 0.4 mile southeast of the runway 16 departure threshold at E14. The first witness reported seeing the airplane enter left traffic for runway 16 and land. The airplane then made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. The witness reported that, while the airplane was turning from the crosswind leg to the downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground in a level pitch attitude. The witness reported seeing an explosion shortly after the airplane descended behind a hill. The second witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport and then saw the airplane make a left turn. He stated that, while the airplane was in a left turn it pitched nose-down and descended toward the ground. He reported that there was a large explosion and ascending fireball when the airplane impacted terrain. He also noted that the airplane's engine sounded normal during the flight. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 46, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/04/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/02/2016
Flight Time:  132.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 127.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 41.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 36.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/13/2006
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 300 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

--- Pilot ---

According to FAA records, the 46-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating. Her most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 4, 2015, with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings.

The pilot's flight history was established using her logbook. The final logbook entry was dated March 9, 2016, at which time she had 132.9 hours total flight time, all of which occurred in the year before the accident. All logged flight time had been completed in single-engine airplanes. The pilot had flown 127.1 hours in the accident airplane make/model. She had logged 41.8 hours as pilot-in-command, 4.6 hours at night, and 4.1 hours in simulated instrument conditions. She had flown 89.5 hours during the 6 months before the accident, 36.8 hours during the 90 days before the accident, and 12.5 hours during the month before the accident. The logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24-hour period before the accident flight. The pilot's most recent flight review, as required by 14 CFR 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of her private pilot certificate dated January 2, 2016.

--- Pilot-Rated Passenger ---

According to FAA records, the 53-year-old passenger held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 13, 2006, with no limitations. The medical certificate expired on April 30, 2008. On the application for the expired medical certificate, the passenger reported having accumulated 300 total hours of flight experience, of which 35 hours were flown within the previous 6 months. A pilot logbook for the passenger was not located during the investigation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU
Registration: N28GX
Model/Series: REMOS GX
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: 356
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 18 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2916.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 912 ULS
Registered Owner: New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The 2009-model-year airplane, serial number 356, was a high-wing monoplane of composite carbon-fiber monocoque construction. The airplane was powered by a 100-horsepower, 4-cyinder Rotax 912 ULS reciprocating engine, serial number 6783105. The engine provided thrust through a ground-adjustable, three-blade, Neuform CR3-65-(IP)-47-101.6 propeller. The two-seat airplane was equipped with a fixed tricycle landing gear and wing flaps. The airplane had a maximum allowable takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds. The special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) was issued an airworthiness certificate on May 13, 2010. New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC, purchased the airplane on February 21, 2011.

The airplane's recording hour meter was destroyed during the postimpact fire, which precluded a determination of the airplane's total service time at the time of the accident. However, according to dispatch documentation, the airplane's hour meter indicated 2,916.7 hours before the flight departed SAF. According to maintenance documentation, the airframe had a total service time of 2,916.7 hours, and the engine had accumulated 916.7 hours since new. The last condition and 100-hour inspection of the airplane were completed on March 1, 2016, at 2,898.8 total airframe hours. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 22 gallons contained in a single fuselage tank. A review of fueling records established that the fuel tank was topped-off before the accident flight departed SAF. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LAM, 7171 ft msl
Observation Time: 1635 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 230°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / -11°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 16 knots, 180°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Española, NM (E14)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Santa Fe, NM (SAF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1620 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

A postaccident review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at LAM about 14 miles southwest of the accident site.

At 1615, about 12 minutes before the accident, the LAM automated surface observing system reported: wind 170° at 10 knots with wind gusts of 15 knots, a clear sky, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 17°C, dew point -11°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

At 1635, about 8 minutes after the accident, the LAM automated surface observing system reported: wind 180° at 10 knots with wind gusts of 16 knots, a clear sky, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 18°C, dew point -11°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5790 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5007 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

E14, a public airport located about 3 miles northeast of Española, New Mexico, was owned and operated by the Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Council. The airport field elevation was 5,790 ft mean sea level. The airport was served by a single asphalt runway, runway 16/34, that measured 5,007 ft by 75 ft. The airport was not equipped with an air traffic control tower. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  36.032778, -106.047222 (est) 

The accident site was in an open field located about 885 ft east of the runway 16 departure threshold. The damage to the airplane was consistent with it impacting the ground in a nose-down pitch attitude on a southeast heading. There was no appreciable wreckage propagation from the point-of-impact. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane. All major structural components and flight controls were identified at the accident site; however, a majority of the carbon-fiber composite fuselage, wings, and empennage were destroyed during the postimpact fire. The pitot tube, which was installed on the leading edge of the left wing, had penetrated the ground at a 45° angle. A majority of the flight control push-pull tubes for the elevator and ailerons were destroyed by the postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity for the rudder was confirmed from the control surface to the cockpit. The entire cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed during the postimpact fire. Two of the three propeller blades exhibited impact and fire damage. The remaining propeller blade appeared undamaged.

The engine sustained extensive thermal damage during the postimpact fire. Disassembly of the engine revealed no mechanical failures of the crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, or pistons. Additionally, there were no anomalies observed with the cylinders or their respective valve assemblies. The sparkplugs and piston domes exhibited normal wear and combustion signatures. Both carburetors exhibited extensive thermal damage that was consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The throttle and choke arms remained attached to the carburetor control cables. The ignition modules, secondary coil pack, and stator exhibited extensive thermal damage from the postimpact fire that precluded testing of the ignition system. The fuel pump remained intact with minor heat damage. A small amount of automobile fuel was ejected from the outlet fitting when the fuel pump was actuated by hand. Further disassembly of the fuel pump revealed no anomalies or contamination. The oil pump remained intact, and its drive shaft rotated freely. The oil pump shaft drive pin was found fractured and was retained for additional testing. The engine disassembly revealed ample lubrication throughout the engine and there was no evidence of oil starvation. The coolant pump housing exhibited thermal damage that was consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The coolant impeller remained attached to the drive shaft; however, the impeller had partially melted during the postimpact fire. The reduction gearbox assembly remained intact, and the drive gear exhibited no pitting or galling. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico, performed autopsies on the pilot and pilot-rated passenger. The cause of death for both individuals was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on specimens obtained during each autopsy. The pilot's toxicology results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and all tested drugs and medications.

The pilot-rated passenger's toxicology results were negative for ethanol. Atorvastatin, losartan, and warfarin were detected in liver. Additionally, losartan and warfarin were detected in muscle. Atorvastatin, brand name Lipitor, is a prescription medication used for lowering high blood cholesterol. Losartan, brand name Cozaar, is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure. Warfarin, brand name Coumadin, is a prescription medication used to prevent clot formation. The detected substances are not generally considered performance-impairing. 

Tests And Research

The engine crankcase, camshaft, oil pump shaft, and oil pump drive pin were submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for additional examination. The examination indicated that the camshaft had a yoke machined into the end opposite the drive gear that drove the oil pump shaft. As designed, a drive pin passed through the body of the oil pump shaft, which engaged the camshaft yoke. The camshaft yoke did not exhibit any abnormal wear or deformation. The bearing bore in the crankcase that corresponded with the oil pump drive yoke exhibited scoring on the inner surface about mid-depth. The depth of the scoring was about 0.024 inch. The scoring was consistent with the profile of the oil pump shaft drive pin. The drive pin fractured inboard of the outer diameter of the oil pump shaft on both sides, leaving a portion of the drive pin within each side of the shaft. Examination of the fracture surfaces revealed crack arrest marks consistent with a fatigue fracture. Hardness measurements made across the diameter of the drive pin were consistent with the manufacturer's design specification. Although the drive pin had fractured, it remained engaged to the camshaft yoke and continued to rotate the oil pump shaft. Additionally, the postaccident engine disassembly revealed ample lubrication throughout the engine, and there was no evidence of oil starvation.

According to the engine manufacturer, a fractured oil shaft drive pin is indicative of an oil system with restrictive hoses and fittings that can result in a pulsating oil supply to the oil pump. The pulsating loading of the drive pin can result in a fractured drive pin. The Rotax 912 installation manual stipulates that oil hoses have an inside diameter of 11 millimeters. The oil hoses recovered with the wreckage had inside diameters that measured 9 millimeters. Additionally, the Rotax 912 installation manual stipulates full-flow angled fittings for oil hose connections. Examination of the oil cooler revealed a right-angle fitting that did not meet the engine manufacturer's full-flow fitting specification.



NTSB Identification: CEN16FA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 11, 2016 in Española, NM
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX, registration: N28GX
Injuries: 2 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 March 11, 2016, about 1627 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA), N28GX, was destroyed during a postimpact fire following a loss of control in the airport traffic pattern at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Española, New Mexico. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the personal flight that departed E14 about 1620 with the intended destination of Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to the aircraft owner, the pilot had rented the airplane to gain familiarization with the takeoff-and-landing procedures used at the Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico. When operating at LAM, all landings are made on runway 27 and all departures are made to the opposite direction on runway 9. A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar data indicated that the airplane departed SAF about 1350, preceded north-northwest toward LAM, and subsequently landed on runway 27 about 1405. At 1417, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight then proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1427. At 1433, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight again proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1443. At 1448, ATC radar data indicated the airplane had departed LAM and continued northeast toward E14. At 1455, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 3.3 miles southwest of E14.

The airplane was equipped with a GlobalStar SPOT satellite tracking device, which reported its position every 5 minutes when activated. According to available track data, the device recorded the airplane on the ramp at E14 about 1503. During the next 15 minutes, the device recorded three stationary data points while the airplane situated on the ramp. There were no position reports received between 1518 and 1627. At 1627:31, the final GlobalStar SPOT data point was recorded near the approach end of runway 16. The GlobalStar SPOT data did not include any altitude information. Additionally, there was no ATC radar data for the accident flight because the airport traffic pattern altitude was below available radar coverage.

There were two witnesses to the accident flight. Both witnesses were standing outside a residence located about 0.4 miles southeast of the runway 16 departure threshold. One of these witnesses reported seeing the airplane make left traffic for runway 16 and land. The witness reported that the airplane made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. He reported that as the airplane was turning from the crosswind-to-downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground in a nose level attitude. The airplane subsequently descended behind a hill which was followed by an explosion. The second witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport, and as the airplane was making a left turn, he saw it descend nose first toward the ground. He noted that there was a large explosion and ascending fireball upon the airplane impacting the terrain. The same witness reported that the engine sounded as if it was operating normally during the accident flight.

The wreckage was located in an open field about 885 feet east of the runway 16 departure threshold. The initial impact point was where the engine had impacted the ground on a heading of south. No discernable wreckage debris path was projected from the initial impact point. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane. All major structural components and flight controls were identified at the accident site; however, a majority of the carbon-fiber composite fuselage, wings, and empennage had been destroyed during the postimpact fire. The pitot tube, located on the leading edge of the left wing, had penetrated the ground at a 45 degree angle. A majority of the flight control push-pull tubes for the elevator and ailerons were destroyed during the postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity for the rudder was confirmed from the control surface to the cockpit. The engine had sustained significant thermal damage during the postimpact fire. A partial disassembly of the engine revealed no mechanical failures of the crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons. No anomalies were noted with the cylinders or valve assemblies. Normal wear and combustion signatures were noted on the upper spark plugs. The magneto assembly, located on the rear of the engine, was destroyed during the postimpact fire. No anomalies were noted with the reduction gearbox assembly. Two of the three propeller blades exhibited impact and fire damage. The remaining propeller blade appeared undamaged.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 46, held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane rating. Her last aviation medical examination was completed on May 4, 2015, when she was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. Her last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of her private pilot certificate dated January 2, 2016. The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using pilot logbook information. Her most recent pilot logbook entry was dated March 9, 2016, at which time she had accumulated 132.9 hours total flight time, of which 41.8 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. She had logged 127.1 hours of flight time in a Remos GX special-light sport aircraft. She had accumulated 4.1 hours in simulated instrument meteorological conditions and 4.6 hours at night. She had flown 132.9 hours during the prior 12 months, 89.5 hours in the previous 6 months, 36.8 hours during prior 90 days, 23.5 hours in the previous 60 days, and 12.5 hours in the 30 day period before the accident flight. The flight instructor's logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24 hour period before the accident flight.

The accident airplane was a 2009 Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, serial number 356. A 100-horsepower Rotax model 912 ULS reciprocating engine, serial number 6783105, powered the airplane through a fixed-pitch, three blade, Neuform model CR3-65 propeller. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear, was capable of seating two individuals, and had a certified maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. The special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) was issued an airworthiness certificate on May 13, 2010. The current owner-of-record, New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC, purchased the airplane on February 21, 2011. According to dispatch documentation, the airplane's HOBBS hour meter indicated 2,916.7 hours before the accident flight. The airframe had accumulated a total service time of 2,916.7 hours. The engine had accumulated a total service time of 916.7 hours since new. The last condition and 100-hour inspection of the airplane were completed on March 1, 2016, at 2,898.8 total airframe hours. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 22 gallons (21 gallons useable) contained in a single fuselage tank. A review of fueling records established that the airplane fuel tanks were topped-off before the accident flight departed SAF.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico, about 14 miles southwest of the accident site. At 1556, the LAM automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 190 degrees true at 12 knots, gusting 24 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 10,000 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 18,000 feet agl, broken ceiling at 25,000 feet agl; temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point -9 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 29.69 inches of mercury. A peak wind velocity of 27 knots was recorded at 1525.
Karen Young and her husband at the Los Alamos Airport. 

Thomas Spickermann


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N28GX



Location: Española, NM
Accident Number: CEN16FA122
Date & Time: 03/11/2016, 1627 MST
Registration: N28GX
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 11, 2016, about 1627 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau Remos GX airplane, N28GX, impacted terrain following a loss of control in the airport traffic pattern at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Española, New Mexico. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed E14 about 1620 with the intended destination of Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to the operator, the airplane was based at SAF, and the pilot rented it to gain familiarity with the takeoff-and-landing procedures used at the Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico. Because of the restricted airspace immediately to the south of the runway and the noise-sensitive residential area just west of the runway, LAM employs a non-standard traffic pattern. All landings are made on runway 27, and all departures are made in the opposite direction on runway 9.

A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar data established that the airplane departed SAF about 1350, flew north-northwest toward LAM, and landed about 1405 on runway 27 at LAM. At 1417:25, the airplane reappeared on radar after it departed LAM on runway 9. The airplane flew about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before it returned to land on runway 27 about 1427. At 1433:25, the airplane reappeared on radar after it departed LAM on runway 9. The airplane again flew about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before it returned to land on runway 27 about 1443. At 1449:13, radar data indicated that the airplane had departed LAM and that it continued northeast toward E14. At 1455:29, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 3.3 miles southwest of E14.

The airplane was equipped with a GlobalStar SPOT satellite tracking device, which reported its position every 5 minutes when activated. According to available track data, the device recorded the airplane on the ramp at E14 about 1503. During the next 15 minutes, the device recorded three stationary data points, consistent with the airplane parked on the airport ramp. No position reports were recorded between 1518 and 1627. At 1627:31, a final data point was recorded near the approach end of runway 16. The GlobalStar SPOT data did not include any altitude information. Additionally, there was no recorded ATC radar data for the accident flight because the airport traffic pattern altitude at E14 was below available radar coverage for the area.

There were two witnesses to the accident flight. Both witnesses were standing outside a residence located about 0.4 mile southeast of the runway 16 departure threshold at E14. The first witness reported seeing the airplane enter left traffic for runway 16 and land. The airplane then made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. The witness reported that, while the airplane was turning from the crosswind leg to the downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground in a level pitch attitude. The witness reported seeing an explosion shortly after the airplane descended behind a hill. The second witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport and then saw the airplane make a left turn. He stated that, while the airplane was in a left turn it pitched nose-down and descended toward the ground. He reported that there was a large explosion and ascending fireball when the airplane impacted terrain. He also noted that the airplane's engine sounded normal during the flight. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 46, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/04/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/02/2016
Flight Time:  132.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 127.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 41.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 36.8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Pilot-Rated Passenger Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/13/2006
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 300 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

--- Pilot ---

According to FAA records, the 46-year-old pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating. Her most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 4, 2015, with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings.

The pilot's flight history was established using her logbook. The final logbook entry was dated March 9, 2016, at which time she had 132.9 hours total flight time, all of which occurred in the year before the accident. All logged flight time had been completed in single-engine airplanes. The pilot had flown 127.1 hours in the accident airplane make/model. She had logged 41.8 hours as pilot-in-command, 4.6 hours at night, and 4.1 hours in simulated instrument conditions. She had flown 89.5 hours during the 6 months before the accident, 36.8 hours during the 90 days before the accident, and 12.5 hours during the month before the accident. The logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24-hour period before the accident flight. The pilot's most recent flight review, as required by 14 CFR 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of her private pilot certificate dated January 2, 2016.

--- Pilot-Rated Passenger ---

According to FAA records, the 53-year-old passenger held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land airplane rating. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on April 13, 2006, with no limitations. The medical certificate expired on April 30, 2008. On the application for the expired medical certificate, the passenger reported having accumulated 300 total hours of flight experience, of which 35 hours were flown within the previous 6 months. A pilot logbook for the passenger was not located during the investigation. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU
Registration: N28GX
Model/Series: REMOS GX
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: 356
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 18 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2916.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 912 ULS
Registered Owner: New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The 2009-model-year airplane, serial number 356, was a high-wing monoplane of composite carbon-fiber monocoque construction. The airplane was powered by a 100-horsepower, 4-cyinder Rotax 912 ULS reciprocating engine, serial number 6783105. The engine provided thrust through a ground-adjustable, three-blade, Neuform CR3-65-(IP)-47-101.6 propeller. The two-seat airplane was equipped with a fixed tricycle landing gear and wing flaps. The airplane had a maximum allowable takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds. The special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) was issued an airworthiness certificate on May 13, 2010. New Mexico Sport Aviation, LLC, purchased the airplane on February 21, 2011.

The airplane's recording hour meter was destroyed during the postimpact fire, which precluded a determination of the airplane's total service time at the time of the accident. However, according to dispatch documentation, the airplane's hour meter indicated 2,916.7 hours before the flight departed SAF. According to maintenance documentation, the airframe had a total service time of 2,916.7 hours, and the engine had accumulated 916.7 hours since new. The last condition and 100-hour inspection of the airplane were completed on March 1, 2016, at 2,898.8 total airframe hours. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 22 gallons contained in a single fuselage tank. A review of fueling records established that the fuel tank was topped-off before the accident flight departed SAF. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LAM, 7171 ft msl
Observation Time: 1635 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 230°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / -11°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots/ 16 knots, 180°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Española, NM (E14)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Santa Fe, NM (SAF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1620 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

A postaccident review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at LAM about 14 miles southwest of the accident site.

At 1615, about 12 minutes before the accident, the LAM automated surface observing system reported: wind 170° at 10 knots with wind gusts of 15 knots, a clear sky, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 17°C, dew point -11°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury.

At 1635, about 8 minutes after the accident, the LAM automated surface observing system reported: wind 180° at 10 knots with wind gusts of 16 knots, a clear sky, 10 miles surface visibility, temperature 18°C, dew point -11°C, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches of mercury. 

Airport Information

Airport: Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5790 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5007 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

E14, a public airport located about 3 miles northeast of Española, New Mexico, was owned and operated by the Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Council. The airport field elevation was 5,790 ft mean sea level. The airport was served by a single asphalt runway, runway 16/34, that measured 5,007 ft by 75 ft. The airport was not equipped with an air traffic control tower. 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: On-Ground
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  36.032778, -106.047222 (est) 

The accident site was in an open field located about 885 ft east of the runway 16 departure threshold. The damage to the airplane was consistent with it impacting the ground in a nose-down pitch attitude on a southeast heading. There was no appreciable wreckage propagation from the point-of-impact. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane. All major structural components and flight controls were identified at the accident site; however, a majority of the carbon-fiber composite fuselage, wings, and empennage were destroyed during the postimpact fire. The pitot tube, which was installed on the leading edge of the left wing, had penetrated the ground at a 45° angle. A majority of the flight control push-pull tubes for the elevator and ailerons were destroyed by the postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity for the rudder was confirmed from the control surface to the cockpit. The entire cockpit and instrument panel were destroyed during the postimpact fire. Two of the three propeller blades exhibited impact and fire damage. The remaining propeller blade appeared undamaged.

The engine sustained extensive thermal damage during the postimpact fire. Disassembly of the engine revealed no mechanical failures of the crankshaft, camshaft, connecting rods, or pistons. Additionally, there were no anomalies observed with the cylinders or their respective valve assemblies. The sparkplugs and piston domes exhibited normal wear and combustion signatures. Both carburetors exhibited extensive thermal damage that was consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The throttle and choke arms remained attached to the carburetor control cables. The ignition modules, secondary coil pack, and stator exhibited extensive thermal damage from the postimpact fire that precluded testing of the ignition system. The fuel pump remained intact with minor heat damage. A small amount of automobile fuel was ejected from the outlet fitting when the fuel pump was actuated by hand. Further disassembly of the fuel pump revealed no anomalies or contamination. The oil pump remained intact, and its drive shaft rotated freely. The oil pump shaft drive pin was found fractured and was retained for additional testing. The engine disassembly revealed ample lubrication throughout the engine and there was no evidence of oil starvation. The coolant pump housing exhibited thermal damage that was consistent with prolonged exposure to fire. The coolant impeller remained attached to the drive shaft; however, the impeller had partially melted during the postimpact fire. The reduction gearbox assembly remained intact, and the drive gear exhibited no pitting or galling. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico, performed autopsies on the pilot and pilot-rated passenger. The cause of death for both individuals was attributed to multiple blunt-force injuries sustained during the accident.

The FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicology tests on specimens obtained during each autopsy. The pilot's toxicology results were negative for carbon monoxide, ethanol, and all tested drugs and medications.

The pilot-rated passenger's toxicology results were negative for ethanol. Atorvastatin, losartan, and warfarin were detected in liver. Additionally, losartan and warfarin were detected in muscle. Atorvastatin, brand name Lipitor, is a prescription medication used for lowering high blood cholesterol. Losartan, brand name Cozaar, is a prescription medication used to treat high blood pressure. Warfarin, brand name Coumadin, is a prescription medication used to prevent clot formation. The detected substances are not generally considered performance-impairing. 

Tests And Research

The engine crankcase, camshaft, oil pump shaft, and oil pump drive pin were submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for additional examination. The examination indicated that the camshaft had a yoke machined into the end opposite the drive gear that drove the oil pump shaft. As designed, a drive pin passed through the body of the oil pump shaft, which engaged the camshaft yoke. The camshaft yoke did not exhibit any abnormal wear or deformation. The bearing bore in the crankcase that corresponded with the oil pump drive yoke exhibited scoring on the inner surface about mid-depth. The depth of the scoring was about 0.024 inch. The scoring was consistent with the profile of the oil pump shaft drive pin. The drive pin fractured inboard of the outer diameter of the oil pump shaft on both sides, leaving a portion of the drive pin within each side of the shaft. Examination of the fracture surfaces revealed crack arrest marks consistent with a fatigue fracture. Hardness measurements made across the diameter of the drive pin were consistent with the manufacturer's design specification. Although the drive pin had fractured, it remained engaged to the camshaft yoke and continued to rotate the oil pump shaft. Additionally, the postaccident engine disassembly revealed ample lubrication throughout the engine, and there was no evidence of oil starvation.

According to the engine manufacturer, a fractured oil shaft drive pin is indicative of an oil system with restrictive hoses and fittings that can result in a pulsating oil supply to the oil pump. The pulsating loading of the drive pin can result in a fractured drive pin. The Rotax 912 installation manual stipulates that oil hoses have an inside diameter of 11 millimeters. The oil hoses recovered with the wreckage had inside diameters that measured 9 millimeters. Additionally, the Rotax 912 installation manual stipulates full-flow angled fittings for oil hose connections. Examination of the oil cooler revealed a right-angle fitting that did not meet the engine manufacturer's full-flow fitting specification.

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 11, 2016 in Española, NM
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX, registration: N28GX
Injuries: 2 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 March 11, 2016, about 1627 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA), N28GX, was destroyed during a postimpact fire following a loss of control in the airport traffic pattern at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Española, New Mexico. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the personal flight that departed E14 about 1620 with the intended destination of Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to the aircraft owner, the pilot had rented the airplane to gain familiarization with the takeoff-and-landing procedures used at the Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico. When operating at LAM, all landings are made on runway 27 and all departures are made to the opposite direction on runway 9. A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar data indicated that the airplane departed SAF about 1350, preceded north-northwest toward LAM, and subsequently landed on runway 27 about 1405. At 1417, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight then proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1427. At 1433, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight again proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1443. At 1448, ATC radar data indicated the airplane had departed LAM and continued northeast toward E14. At 1455, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 3.3 miles southwest of E14.

The airplane was equipped with a GlobalStar SPOT satellite tracking device, which reported its position every 5 minutes when activated. According to available track data, the device recorded the airplane on the ramp at E14 about 1503. During the next 15 minutes, the device recorded three stationary data points while the airplane situated on the ramp. There were no position reports received between 1518 and 1627. At 1627:31, the final GlobalStar SPOT data point was recorded near the approach end of runway 16. The GlobalStar SPOT data did not include any altitude information. Additionally, there was no ATC radar data for the accident flight because the airport traffic pattern altitude was below available radar coverage.

There were two witnesses to the accident flight. Both witnesses were standing outside a residence located about 0.4 miles southeast of the runway 16 departure threshold. One of these witnesses reported seeing the airplane make left traffic for runway 16 and land. The witness reported that the airplane made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. He reported that as the airplane was turning from the crosswind-to-downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground in a nose level attitude. The airplane subsequently descended behind a hill which was followed by an explosion. The second witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport, and as the airplane was making a left turn, he saw it descend nose first toward the ground. He noted that there was a large explosion and ascending fireball upon the airplane impacting the terrain. The same witness reported that the engine sounded as if it was operating normally during the accident flight.

The wreckage was located in an open field about 885 feet east of the runway 16 departure threshold. The initial impact point was where the engine had impacted the ground on a heading of south. No discernable wreckage debris path was projected from the initial impact point. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane. All major structural components and flight controls were identified at the accident site; however, a majority of the carbon-fiber composite fuselage, wings, and empennage had been destroyed during the postimpact fire. The pitot tube, located on the leading edge of the left wing, had penetrated the ground at a 45 degree angle. A majority of the flight control push-pull tubes for the elevator and ailerons were destroyed during the postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity for the rudder was confirmed from the control surface to the cockpit. The engine had sustained significant thermal damage during the postimpact fire. A partial disassembly of the engine revealed no mechanical failures of the crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons. No anomalies were noted with the cylinders or valve assemblies. Normal wear and combustion signatures were noted on the upper spark plugs. The magneto assembly, located on the rear of the engine, was destroyed during the postimpact fire. No anomalies were noted with the reduction gearbox assembly. Two of the three propeller blades exhibited impact and fire damage. The remaining propeller blade appeared undamaged.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 46, held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane rating. Her last aviation medical examination was completed on May 4, 2015, when she was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. Her last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of her private pilot certificate dated January 2, 2016. The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using pilot logbook information. Her most recent pilot logbook entry was dated March 9, 2016, at which time she had accumulated 132.9 hours total flight time, of which 41.8 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. She had logged 127.1 hours of flight time in a Remos GX special-light sport aircraft. She had accumulated 4.1 hours in simulated instrument meteorological conditions and 4.6 hours at night. She had flown 132.9 hours during the prior 12 months, 89.5 hours in the previous 6 months, 36.8 hours during prior 90 days, 23.5 hours in the previous 60 days, and 12.5 hours in the 30 day period before the accident flight. The flight instructor's logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24 hour period before the accident flight.

The accident airplane was a 2009 Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, serial number 356. A 100-horsepower Rotax model 912 ULS reciprocating engine, serial number 6783105, powered the airplane through a fixed-pitch, three blade, Neuform model CR3-65 propeller. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear, was capable of seating two individuals, and had a certified maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. The special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) was issued an airworthiness certificate on May 13, 2010. The current owner-of-record, New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC, purchased the airplane on February 21, 2011. According to dispatch documentation, the airplane's HOBBS hour meter indicated 2,916.7 hours before the accident flight. The airframe had accumulated a total service time of 2,916.7 hours. The engine had accumulated a total service time of 916.7 hours since new. The last condition and 100-hour inspection of the airplane were completed on March 1, 2016, at 2,898.8 total airframe hours. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 22 gallons (21 gallons useable) contained in a single fuselage tank. A review of fueling records established that the airplane fuel tanks were topped-off before the accident flight departed SAF.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico, about 14 miles southwest of the accident site. At 1556, the LAM automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 190 degrees true at 12 knots, gusting 24 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 10,000 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 18,000 feet agl, broken ceiling at 25,000 feet agl; temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point -9 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 29.69 inches of mercury. A peak wind velocity of 27 knots was recorded at 1525. The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albuquerque FSDO-01

NEW MEXICO SPORT AVIATION LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N28GX

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, March 11, 2016 in Española, NM
Aircraft: REMOS ACFT GMBH FLUGZEUGBAU REMOS GX, registration: N28GX
Injuries: 2 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 March 11, 2016, about 1627 mountain standard time, a Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA), N28GX, was destroyed during a postimpact fire following a loss of control in the airport traffic pattern at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport (E14), Española, New Mexico. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the personal flight that departed E14 about 1620 with the intended destination of Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to the aircraft owner, the pilot had rented the airplane to gain familiarization with the takeoff-and-landing procedures used at the Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico. When operating at LAM, all landings are made on runway 27 and all departures are made to the opposite direction on runway 9. A review of available Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC) radar data indicated that the airplane departed SAF about 1350, preceded north-northwest toward LAM, and subsequently landed on runway 27 about 1405. At 1417, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight then proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1427. At 1433, the airplane reappeared on ATC radar after it had departed LAM on runway 9. The flight again proceeded about 8.5 miles northeast of LAM before returning to land on runway 27 about 1443. At 1448, ATC radar data indicated the airplane had departed LAM and continued northeast toward E14. At 1455, the airplane descended below available radar coverage about 3.3 miles southwest of E14.

The airplane was equipped with a GlobalStar SPOT satellite tracking device, which reported its position every 5 minutes when activated. According to available track data, the device recorded the airplane on the ramp at E14 about 1503. During the next 15 minutes, the device recorded three stationary data points while the airplane situated on the ramp. There were no position reports received between 1518 and 1627. At 1627:31, the final GlobalStar SPOT data point was recorded near the approach end of runway 16. The GlobalStar SPOT data did not include any altitude information. Additionally, there was no ATC radar data for the accident flight because the airport traffic pattern altitude was below available radar coverage.

There were two witnesses to the accident flight. Both witnesses were standing outside a residence located about 0.4 miles southeast of the runway 16 departure threshold. One of these witnesses reported seeing the airplane make left traffic for runway 16 and land. The witness reported that the airplane made a second takeoff and continued to make left turns. He reported that as the airplane was turning from the crosswind-to-downwind leg, he heard a reduction in engine power and saw the airplane descend toward the ground in a nose level attitude. The airplane subsequently descended behind a hill which was followed by an explosion. The second witness reported that he heard the airplane takeoff from the airport, and as the airplane was making a left turn, he saw it descend nose first toward the ground. He noted that there was a large explosion and ascending fireball upon the airplane impacting the terrain. The same witness reported that the engine sounded as if it was operating normally during the accident flight.

The wreckage was located in an open field about 885 feet east of the runway 16 departure threshold. The initial impact point was where the engine had impacted the ground on a heading of south. No discernable wreckage debris path was projected from the initial impact point. The main wreckage consisted of the entire airplane. All major structural components and flight controls were identified at the accident site; however, a majority of the carbon-fiber composite fuselage, wings, and empennage had been destroyed during the postimpact fire. The pitot tube, located on the leading edge of the left wing, had penetrated the ground at a 45 degree angle. A majority of the flight control push-pull tubes for the elevator and ailerons were destroyed during the postimpact fire. Flight control cable continuity for the rudder was confirmed from the control surface to the cockpit. The engine had sustained significant thermal damage during the postimpact fire. A partial disassembly of the engine revealed no mechanical failures of the crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons. No anomalies were noted with the cylinders or valve assemblies. Normal wear and combustion signatures were noted on the upper spark plugs. The magneto assembly, located on the rear of the engine, was destroyed during the postimpact fire. No anomalies were noted with the reduction gearbox assembly. Two of the three propeller blades exhibited impact and fire damage. The remaining propeller blade appeared undamaged.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot, age 46, held a private pilot certificate with a single engine land airplane rating. Her last aviation medical examination was completed on May 4, 2015, when she was issued a third-class medical certificate with a limitation for corrective lenses. A search of FAA records showed no previous accidents, incidents, or enforcement proceedings. Her last flight review, as required by FAA regulation 61.56, was completed upon the issuance of her private pilot certificate dated January 2, 2016. The pilot's flight history was reconstructed using pilot logbook information. Her most recent pilot logbook entry was dated March 9, 2016, at which time she had accumulated 132.9 hours total flight time, of which 41.8 hours were listed as pilot-in-command. She had logged 127.1 hours of flight time in a Remos GX special-light sport aircraft. She had accumulated 4.1 hours in simulated instrument meteorological conditions and 4.6 hours at night. She had flown 132.9 hours during the prior 12 months, 89.5 hours in the previous 6 months, 36.8 hours during prior 90 days, 23.5 hours in the previous 60 days, and 12.5 hours in the 30 day period before the accident flight. The flight instructor's logbook did not contain any recorded flight time for the 24 hour period before the accident flight.

The accident airplane was a 2009 Remos Aircraft GmbH Flugzeugbau model Remos GX, serial number 356. A 100-horsepower Rotax model 912 ULS reciprocating engine, serial number 6783105, powered the airplane through a fixed-pitch, three blade, Neuform model CR3-65 propeller. The airplane had a fixed tricycle landing gear, was capable of seating two individuals, and had a certified maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. The special-light sport aircraft (S-LSA) was issued an airworthiness certificate on May 13, 2010. The current owner-of-record, New Mexico Sport Aviation LLC, purchased the airplane on February 21, 2011. According to dispatch documentation, the airplane's HOBBS hour meter indicated 2,916.7 hours before the accident flight. The airframe had accumulated a total service time of 2,916.7 hours. The engine had accumulated a total service time of 916.7 hours since new. The last condition and 100-hour inspection of the airplane were completed on March 1, 2016, at 2,898.8 total airframe hours. A postaccident review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues. The airplane had a total fuel capacity of 22 gallons (21 gallons useable) contained in a single fuselage tank. A review of fueling records established that the airplane fuel tanks were topped-off before the accident flight departed SAF.

The nearest aviation weather reporting station was located at Los Alamos Airport (LAM), Los Alamos, New Mexico, about 14 miles southwest of the accident site. At 1556, the LAM automated surface observing system reported the following weather conditions: wind 190 degrees true at 12 knots, gusting 24 knots; visibility 10 miles; few clouds at 10,000 feet above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 18,000 feet agl, broken ceiling at 25,000 feet agl; temperature 26 degrees Celsius, dew point -9 degrees Celsius, altimeter setting 29.69 inches of mercury. A peak wind velocity of 27 knots was recorded at 1525.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


 
Karen Young and her husband at the Los Alamos Airport after a recent flight.

Thomas Spickermann was a proud supporter of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s “Young Eagles” program, a program that showed young people the many pathways into the aviation field one could take. One of the highlights of the program was taking kids through the preflight checkup, the flight, and a question and answer session afterward. 












Karen Ann Young, left, stands with her son, Charlie Young, and Piñon Art Educator Stephanie Rittner.





The Los Alamos aviation community grieved the loss of two enthusiasts and friends this week, after they crashed in a small airplane near the Ohkay Owingeh Airport outside of Española Friday afternoon. 

Shortly after the tragic news swept through the local community, members started coming forward to share their thoughts about Thomas Spickermann, 47 and Karen Ann Young, 46.

Young and Spickermann were performing landing and takeoff maneuvers during a training flight when the plane went into a spiral and crashed.

The aircraft was a Remos GX fixed wing single engine “light sport” aircraft. According to initial reports, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have yet to release a preliminary report about what caused the accident.

One member of the local aviation community emailed a statement to members after the accident.

“I have always known that what makes New Mexico Sport aviation great is the wonderful group of people who have come together to pursue a passion for flying,” the member wrote. “This tragic accident has shown what a close family we’ve created. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has shared their condolences and offered to help in our difficult time. Please remember (Young’s husband) and (their children) and Thomas’s family, no doubt they could use your love and assistance.”

Spickermann was a member of EAA’s (Experimental Aircraft Association) Chapter 691, the EAA’s local, northern New Mexico chapter.

“Experimental aircraft” is a category used by the FAA to describe airplanes that are built by individuals, instead of a factory.

Experimental aircraft are inspected and certified as flightworthy by the FAA. The airplane Spickermann and Young were flying was not classified as experimental, but Spickermann owned at least one experimental aircraft, a Zenith CH750 STOL that he built himself.

According to members, Spickermann once served as vice president and president of the chapter at various times. The chapter represents Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Española and northern New Mexico. According Chapter 691’s website, Spickermann was serving as the site’s newsletter editor and webmaster.

Will Fox, the organization’s technical counselor and flight advisor, recalled Spickermann’s passion for flight and experimental aircraft. Spickermann often brought guests to the meetings to talk to the chapter members about aviation and the technical aspects of experimental aircraft, Fox said.

Fox first met Spickermann when he approached Fox for help on building his Zenith, the first aircraft he built by himself.

He recalled Spickermann’s optimistic spirit when it came to tackling the literal nuts and bolts of the project, he said. Spickermann, whose professional background was theoretical physics, had to learn how to use a rivet gun as well as other specialized tools required to build it.

“He started right from scratch without a lot of the skills needed to build those planes,” Fox said.

“Finish it he did, and when he was done, he had a good solid airplane.”  

Spickermann was only too happy to share his accomplishment, which served to inspire his friends and fellow pilots, Fox said.

“As soon as he got done, he started giving everybody rides,” Fox said. “He used to say that if he could build one, then anyone can build one.”

Fox was also lifelong friends with Young’s father, and he knew Young well.

“Karen was an incredibly enthusiastic young lady, real quick with a smile,” Fox said. “Very outgoing, a very positive person … very inquisitive. If she wanted to find out about something she wouldn’t hesitate to call you and ask you questions till she wore you out. She reminded me a lot of her dad.”

Young worked as an engineer at LANL in the same division as Spickermann. One day, Spickermann offered to take Young up in his Zenith, and that’s when she became fascinated with small aircraft flight.

She had only recently got her private pilot’s certificate about two months ago.

While Spickermann helped Young with flying, it soon became apparent that Spickermann himself was going to need help losing weight and getting in shape for a flying trip to Alaska they planned to take.

Young, an avid runner, helped him with that, and soon had Spickermann running, bicycling, and competing in various races and meets.

A statement in the email sent out to the aviation community also talked about how Spickermann’s enthusiasm for aviation, and flying grew on Young.

“His passion for aviation was contagious, enough so that his friend and coworker, Karen Young decided to join him on the Alaska trip,” a statement in the email to the aviation community read. “To be a more helpful passenger, Karen planned to take a few lessons ... Karen soon became hooked on flying and went far beyond ‘just a few lessons,’ earning her private pilot certificate.”

According to the email, Young also enjoyed sharing her enthusiasm for flight, especially with her husband and children.

“Karen took each of (her children) to experience the joys of flying, and just a week ago flew her husband to Taos for a picnic lunch under the wing of the airplane,” according to the statement.

Even though Young and Spickermann were experienced pilots, the Alaska trip was to be their first big flight. Fox said Spickermann also was an avid photographer, and was looking forward to bringing his camera with him.

“He always took a camera with him whenever he went flying, he was always taking pictures from the air. He would take pictures until the batteries died or he ran out of storage,” Fox recalled. “I don’t know what he liked more, flying or taking pictures from the air ... This trip to Alaska was going to be a great opportunity for them to take turns flying and taking pictures of their trip.”

Shortly after the accident, EAA 691 posted this statement on its website:

“Two of our members were fatally injured in an airplane crash on Friday, March 11. Thomas Spickermann and Karen Young. Both were shining lights not only for our club but for everyone they touched. Our thoughts and love go out to the families of both of these wonderful beings. Please keep the children and family members in your thoughts.”

Original article can be found here: http://www.lamonitor.com

Karen Ann Young, like her father before her, dreamed of flying to Alaska in a small, single-engine airplane.

Following his advice to gain experience as a pilot, Young was flying at about 4:30 p.m. Friday a quarter-mile east of the Ohkay Owingeh Airport.

Her hopes and her life ended there.

Young had rented the two-seat, single-engine Remos GX airplane that crashed with her at the controls. She and her passenger, experienced pilot Thomas Spickermann, both died in the crash. They were training for the trip north.

Weather did not appear to be a factor. Winds were calm and clouds that would build before snow fell the next day weren’t yet on the horizon.

Young’s 81-year-old father, Charles Cummings, said he doesn’t know what happened.

“I was pretty excited about it, but, you know,” he said Monday of his daughter’s Alaska plans. Then his voice trailed off. “Things don’t always work out like you wanted them to.”

Young, 46, was the deputy leader for an engineering group that ran the radio frequency systems used in the particle accelerator at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She leaves a husband and two sons, 11 and 9. They live in Los Alamos.

Spickermann, 47, ran the team that operated the lab’s particular accelerator. He lived in Los Alamos and was married.

Young had obtained her pilot’s license in January, hoping to fly the more than 3,000 miles to Alaska with Spickermann, her father said in a phone interview from Oklahoma. Cummings had made the trip numerous times in his youth, and fears he gave his daughter the idea of emulating him.

Cummings, also a former Los Alamos laboratory engineer, said he used to fly single-engine Cessnas to Alaska, stopping every several hundred miles to refill the small fuel tanks. He said he loved learning the country one airstrip at a time.

His daughter’s sense of adventure is partly his fault, he said. He knows flying is dangerous, and said that was in the back of his mind when he suggested that she get her pilot’s license. But he supported her interest in aviation. She was preparing to buy her own Cessna when she crashed, he said.

He doesn’t regret her choice. “I regret her death,” he said.

Others occasionally saw Young and Spickermann logging flight hours together in Northern New Mexico, training for the big trip to Alaska. Spickermann was even building an experimental airplane for it, and he’d talk constantly about it at work, said his boss, Mark Gulley.

“He’d come in and there’d be a Band-Aid or two on his fingers,” which he’d blame on rivets he’d fastened to his plane that weekend, Gulley said.

Spickermann was recognized in 2013 by the Federal Aviation Administration for his high level of pilot training.

His and Young’s deaths are a blow to the lab, Gulley said.

Spickermann kept his experimental plane in a hangar at the Ohkay Owingeh Airport. Gulley said he’d already built and sold an experimental model, replacing it with the larger, more powerful aircraft to allow him and Young to fly farther. He spent most weekends tinkering with it, said the airport’s manager, Ron Lovato.

Wiggy Greacen, an aircraft mechanic in Gilbert, Ariz., said Spickermann invited him to New Mexico a few times to examine the plane, which someone could spend 1,000 hours building.

“He did meticulous work,” Greacen said. “It was a very nice aircraft.”

The plane, an experimental model by Zenith Aircraft Co., now sits in Hangar No. 8 without wings.

Source:  http://www.santafenewmexican.com

Two people died in a single engine plane crash Friday in Rio Arriba County. 

The incident took place near the Ohkay Owingeh Airport at El Llano Road and NM 241 north of Espanola.

New Mexico State Police said the incident happened around 4:30 p.m.

Due to the extent of the destructive nature of the crash, officers are still working to identify the aircraft and the identity of the deceased.

The crash remains under investigation and the Federal Aviation Administration will be on site tomorrow to figure out the cause.

The Office of the Medical Investigator is working to determine the identity of the deceased. 

Story and video:  http://www.kob.com


A small, single-engine airplane crashed outside the Ohkay Owingeh airport Friday afternoon, killing at least two people, according to emergency personnel on the scene. 

The crash, around 4:30 p.m., occurred on the edge of Ohkay Owingeh property, 50 feet  from the fence that encompasses the airport, on the southern end.

It was not immediately known how many people were in the plane. 

The aircraft appeared to be circling the airport before the crash, according to witnesses and emergency responders.

The wreckage burned for some time before emergency responders were allowed to extinguish it and the Office of the Medical Investigator has yet to take custody of the bodies to perform autopsies.

Plumes of smoke billowed off the wreckage until firefighters, using 4-wheel drive fire trucks, were able to reach the wreckage. 

City of  Espanola firefighters and Santa Clara Pueblo firefighters initially responded to the crash and cut through a fence at the airport to access the wreckage.

State Police officers took over the investigation, pending the arrival of officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which regulates flight in the country.

Original article can be found here: http://www.riograndesun.com

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) - Authorities have released the identities of two people who were killed in a small plane crash in northern New Mexico.

New Mexico State Police say 46-year-old Karen Ann Young and 47-year-old Thomas Spickermann, both of Los Alamos, died when the single-engine plane went down Friday afternoon near the Ohkay Owingeh Airport near Espanola.

State Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Armijo says there were no others on board.

She says Young is believed to have been the pilot and Spickermann the co-pilot.

No comments: