Thursday, July 28, 2016

Flight Design CTLS, N527TS : Accident occurred July 28, 2016 at Fond du Lac County Airport (KFLD), Wisconsin

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA290
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 28, 2016 in Fond du Lac, WI
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N527TS
Injuries: 2 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 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 July 28, 2016, about 0821 central daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH model CTLS airplane, N527TS, impacted terrain while returning to land after initial takeoff. The pilot and single passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to, and operated by a private individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site about the time of the accident, and the flight was operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from Fond du Lac County Airport (FLD), Fond du Lac, Wisconsin at the time of the accident and its destination was not determined.

Witnesses reported seeing the airplane takeoff to the north and start a left turn back to the airport. They stated the engine sounded abnormal and the airplane did not climb above treetop height before it rolled into a steep left turn and descended into terrain. An additional witness did not see the accident occur, but said they heard the pilot on the radio state he was making an immediate return to the airport.

During the impact both wings separated from the fuselage and the engine intruded into the cockpit area. Flight control continuity to the elevator and rudder was verified continuous from the cockpit to each control surface. Flight control continuity was interrupted to both wings, but all observed breaks in continuity were consistent with failure in overload during impact. Some fuel smell was present at the accident scene, but both the left and right fuel tanks were compromised. Several ounces of fuel were recovered from the right wing tank, which appeared light blue in color and free of contaminants. The three composite propeller blades were separated from the propeller hub. The blade sections that were observed were absent chord wise scratches or leading edge damage. The engine and wreckage were recovered to a secure storage location and retained for further examination.

SANTA FE – Two Santa Fe men injured in the crash of their lightweight plane in Wisconsin were still listed in critical condition on Friday.
The men have been identified as David D. Spencer, 78, who owned and piloted the plane that crashed after take-off on Thursday, and his passenger Rafael J. Chavez, 71.

Sgt. Paul Rottscholl of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office said Friday the plane appeared to lose power soon after taking off from the Fond du Lac County Airport about 8:20 a.m. Thursday. “It appeared as if the pilot was attempting to turn around and land back at the airstrip, but it didn’t make it and crashed into an open field,” he said.

Rottscholl said the crash was witnessed by employees of a nearby medical clinic. “A couple of nurses and doctors and a trauma surgeon ran over to the crash site and stated attending to the passenger, who was sitting outside the plane semiconscious,” he said.

The pilot was still inside the aircraft but pinned under the engine and also semiconscious when Rottscholl arrived a few minutes after the crash. “Myself and the firefighters there made the decision to pick up the plane to get him free, and we were able to do that,” he said.

Spencer and Chavez were separately transported by medical helicopter to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah, Wis.

Cameron Humphres, manager of the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, confirmed the plane — a two-seat, fixed wing CTLS model manufactured in 2008 by Flight Design  —was registered there. He said pilots flying under visual flight rules aren’t required to file a flight plan, but it is believed the plane left Santa Fe last Saturday morning.

Spencer and Chavez were likely in Wisconsin to attend AirVenture, a week-long convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association held at Whittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis. that according to its website attracts about 500,000 people and 10,000 airplanes each year. Sgt. Rottscholl and said many people attending that event use the Fond du Lac airport due to the overflow.

New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez, staff members with the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division, and representatives from some of the state’s economic development organizations attended the EAA AirVenture this week. “Our state is in a prime position to benefit from the growing demands of the global market, and this is one of the best venues to showcase all we have to offer the aerospace, aviation, and defense industries,” Sanchez said in a news release earlier this week.

FOND DU LAC COUNTY (WLUK) -- Two men are in critical condition after their plane crashed Thursday morning at The Fond du Lac County Airport.

The plane crashed at an airport that's especially busy this time of year, because of EAA AirVenture up the road in Oshkosh.

Investigators say the plane had taken off, but had to turn back because of mechanical issues.

Investigators combed through the field at the northwest corner of the Fond du Lac County Airport, looking for clues as to why a small white plane crashed early Thursday morning.

"The witnesses said they saw it coming down. And said it made an abrupt turn. They thought it was going to be turning to get to the runway, and then it hit the ground," said Rick Olig, Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office Captain.

Two people were on board. They've been identified as 78-year-old David Spencer and 71-year-old Rafael Chaves. Both men are from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

"When our medical people got to the scene, we began to treat those people, and they were both injured severely," said Peter O'Leary, Fond du Lac Fire Chief.

Flight for Life and ThedaStar helicopters transported the two men to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah.

According to The Federal Aviation Administration, the light sport aircraft took off from the Fond du Lac airport, but the pilot soon asked to return. The plane had clearance to land, but crashed about a half-mile short of the runway.

"We do have quite a few witnesses that actually saw it prior to, and actually saw the crash. The preliminary indications are that the engine was functioning at the time of the crash. They didn't hear anything that appeared to be out of the ordinary," said Olig.

Investigators say The Fond du Lac County Airport is very busy this time of year, handling numerous flights to and from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

"The number of planes that come in and out of here everyday, during EAA is significant. And significant enough the FAA wants to have a staffed tower here," said O'Leary.

The airport was closed for about an hour Thursday morning.

The FAA says its investigation will take about three weeks to complete.

It is unknown whether the men were attending EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

Story and video:

FOND DU LAC, Wis.-- - The victims of Thursday morning's plane crash at the Fond du Lac County Airport have been identified. They are 78 year old David Spencer and 71 year old Rafael Chaves, both from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The victims suffered serious injuries and are in ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah for treatment.

Original Story:

A plane has crashed at the Fond du Lac County Airport. 

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's office says that two men are critically injured and were flown to a hospital.

Witnesses say the plane was flying low, and it appeared as if it was going to land. That's when the plane banked abruptly and crashed.

Fond du Lac County Fire and Rescue chief Peter O'Leary says crews are responding. 

The FAA is investigating the crash. 

The airport was closed during rescue operations but has since opened up.


FOND DU LAC - A single-engine plane crashed about 8:20 a.m Thursday in the northwest corner of the Fond du Lac County Airport. White smoke burst from the engine as firefighters and an ambulance arrived on scene.

Two men, about the age of 60, were seriously injured and transported separately by Flight for Life and ThedaStar to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center- Neenah, said Rick Olig, captain of operations for the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses of the crash say the plane was flying low and appeared as if it was going to land, Olig said. The plane banked abruptly and crashed.

The crash area was on an open field several hundred yards from the north/south runway.

The two-seat, fixed-wing plane is a model CTLS manufactured by Flight Design, based in Germany, and was last registered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to the Aircraft Lookup app.

The Fond du Lac County Airport reopened about 10 a.m., said John Wehner, manager of the Fond du Lac County Airport. This is the first crash at the airport since the 1990s, Wehner said.

Since Sunday, the county airport has been busy as flyers arrive for the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Wehner estimated that the airport would handle 5,000 flights from July 24 to 31, which is 625 flight operations a day. Normally the airport has about 150 daily operation flights, he said.

The sheriff's office is working with federal agencies to determine the cause of the crash.

Story and video:

FOND DU LAC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Two people were airlifted from the scene of a plane crash at Fond du Lac County Airport, according to Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue.

Officials tell Action 2 News the small, single engine plane crashed west of the runway in a field at about 8:21 Thursday morning.

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office says witnesses reported the plane was low and it appeared as if it was going to land.

“The plane banked abruptly and crashed,” according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.

Two men believed to be in their 60s or older suffered critical injuries and were airlifted to a local hospital.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue, Town of Fond du Lac Fire, the Sheriff’s Office, Flight for Life, Theda Star, and the FAA responded to the crash scene.

Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office is working with federal agencies to determine what may have caused the crash.  The airport was closed while rescue operations were ongoing, but has since opened up for normal operations.


Two men were injured when a small plane crashed at Fond du Lac County Airport.

The crash happened Thursday morning. The Fond du Lac Action Reporter says white smoke burst from the engine as an ambulance arrived.

Fond du Lac Sheriff's Office captain of operations Rick Olig says the victims were men. He described their injuries as critical. Both were flown to the hospital.

Fond du Lac fire Chief Peter O'Leary says the single engine aircraft crashed on the northwest corner of the airport property, several hundred yards west of a runway.

Olig says witnesses told authorities the plane was flying low and appeared as if it was going to land when it abruptly banked and crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash's cause.


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