Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Quicksilver MXL II: Fatal accident occurred March 07, 2017 near Hesperia Airport (L26), San Bernardino County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Riverside, California

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

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA074 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 07, 2017 in Hesperia, CA
Aircraft: QUICKSILVER MXL II, registration: UNREG
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 March 7, 2017, at 1018 Pacific standard time, an unregistered experimental amateur-built Quicksilver MXL II, collided with terrain after takeoff from Hesperia Airport, Hesperia, California. The airplane was operated by the pilot/builder as a test flight, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The unlicensed pilot sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot had been performing multiple high-speed taxi tests in the airplane since it's completion about two months before the accident. He reported to friends that during those tests, the airplane had been pulling to the left. About one month prior to the accident, he performed the first flight test, however shorty after getting airborne the airplane rolled left, departed the runway, and struck a hangar. He spent the next month repairing the damage, and performing more high-speed taxi tests.

On the day of the accident, witnesses observed him taxing in the airplane back and forth along the runway at least two times, before initiating a takeoff roll from runway 3. A witness watched as the airplane rotated, climbed to about 50 ft above ground level, while drifting to the left of the runway centerline. It continued in a shallow climbing left turn to about 100ft agl, transitioning to a 90-degree left roll. The nose of the airplane then descended, and the airplane rolled inverted into the ground.

The airplane came to rest about 750 ft beyond the runway 3 threshold, and 315 ft left of the runway centerline. The airframe structure sustained crush and buckling damage from the nosewheel through to the main landing gear downtube and axle. Both wings and the empennage remained partially attached to the airframe, and the smell of automobile gasoline was present throughout the site.

The primary load carrying member of the airplane was composed of an aluminum "root tube", which united the engine, wings, king-post, and lower trike assembly. The trike assembly supported the pilot and passenger seats, along with the landing gear and flight controls. The trike included the axle and axle struts, and a series of steel cross and downtubes collectively known as the tri-bar assembly. The tubes of the tri-bar assembly were interconnected with slip-joints, which were secured by AN4-series bolts. The under-wing flying wires were connected to the forward lower corners of the tri-bar assembly, adjacent to the seat anchors.


Examination of the trike structure at the accident site revealed that the bolt designed to secure the forward left (pilot side) tri-bar downtube to the upper tri-bar assembly was only attached to the upper assembly. Paint signatures revealed that the downtube was inserted 1 1/4 inch short, such that the bolt only passed through the upper tube, rather than interlocking the upper and lower tubes.

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


The pilot of a Quicksilver MXL II plane was killed when he crashed at Hesperia Airport Tuesday morning, officials said.

The incident involving a Quicksilver MXL II aircraft was reported about 10 a.m. at the north end of the airport, apparently shortly after take off, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

Video from the scene showed the mangled Quicksilver MXL II.

The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane.

Hazmat crews were at the scene Tuesday afternoon cleaning up a small oil spill from the crash.

Jay Carlson, a friend of the victim, told KTLA that he heard about the plane crash from a mutual friend and he got “chills down his body.”

Carlson said the victim, who he identified as Robert Alexander, had been building his aircraft for a while and he couldn’t wait to fly it.

He added that the victim, who was in his early 60s, built the plane as a hobby and had a "hard landing" after testing out the plane last week.

Carlson said his friend liked to “live on the edge.”

“He was always gung-ho for anything,” he said.

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said in an email that the plane appeared to be an “unregistered ultralight.”

He added that his agency does not investigate those types of planes because they don’t have FAA airworthiness certificates and you don’t need a pilot license to fly them.”


Story and video:   http://ktla.com




HESPERIA, Calif. --One person was killed when a Quicksilver MXL II aircraft crashed Tuesday morning near Hesperia Airport, authorities said.


The deceased person was the sole occupant of the Quicksilver MXL II aircraft, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said on Twitter at 10:17 a.m, adding that the collision happened near the north end of the airport.


The circumstances of the crash were not immediately known, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration's Pacific Division.


Source:  http://abc7.com







HESPERIA, Calif. (VVNG.com) A Quicksilver MXL II aircraft crashed near the Hesperia Airport killing one person on board Tuesday morning.

The crash was reported around 10:00 a.m. just west of the airport landing strip. The airport, located on Sante Fe Avenue and Ranchero Road is a public-use and privately owned airport.

Deputies from the Hesperia Station and the San Bernardino County Fire Department arrived on scene and located the two-seater “hobby” aircraft, according to Hesperia Spokeswoman Jackie Chambers.

When authorities arrived they determined the Quicksilver MXL II sustained major damage during the incident.

Chambers said a white male adult was the sole occupant of the aircraft and was pronounced deceased on scene.

It’s unclear if it was attempting to land or depart from the airport.


Hazmat has been requested to respond to the area for approximately 10 gallons of fuel that leaked from the hobby plane.

The FAA and the NTSB have been summoned to the site of the accident and will be further handling the investigation.

Story and video: http://www.vvng.com



HESPERIA – Authorities say one person was killed when a Quicksilver MXL II aircraft crashed in Southern California’s high desert.

Eric Sherwin with the San Bernardino County Fire Department says the crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday just off the north end of the lone runway at Hesperia Airport.

Sherwin says the pilot, the only person aboard the Quicksilver MXL II aircraft, died at the scene. He didn’t know if the ultralight was taking off or landing at the time of the crash about 80 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, says the circumstances are not immediately known.

Sherwin says investigators will interview witnesses to try and determine the cause.

Source:  http://www.ocregister.com

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