Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Denney Kitfox IV, N921RP: Fatal accident occurred June 07, 2016 in De Smet, Kingsbury County, South Dakota



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

Additional Participating Entity:  
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota

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


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

Randy R. Telkamp: http://registry.faa.gov/N921RP

NTSB Identification: CEN16FA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 07, 2016 in De Smet, SD
Aircraft: PRUSS RICHARD S KITFOX IV, registration: N921RP
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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.

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 7, 2016, about 1020 central daylight time, an amateur-built Kitfox IV single-engine airplane, N921RP, impacted a lake following a loss of control while maneuvering at a low altitude near De Smet, South Dakota. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, the passenger sustained serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed from Lake Preston Municipal Airport (Y34), Lake Preston, South Dakota, about 0929.

According to the passenger, who held a student pilot certificate and was interviewed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot picked him up at Y34 to assist in a search for a boat that sank in Lake Thompson on June 3, 2016. The pilot and passenger spotted the boat and then flew a right "racetrack" pattern about 150 ft above ground level. While maneuvering, the airplane was banked about 45 to 60 degrees at an airspeed of about 50 miles per hour. During one of the turns, the airplane "snapped over" and the pilot told the passenger that the airplane stalled. The airplane spun about 1.5 to 2 rotations, impacted the lake, and sank. The passenger stated the engine operated normally until the impact with the water. 

According to local authorities, the passenger was rescued by persons assisting in the boat recovery. Efforts to rescue the pilot were unsuccessful.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot's most recent third class medical certificate was issued on January 26, 2015, with a limitation for corrective lenses.

A review of the pilot's logbook, noted as "Logbook Number 5", revealed that the first logbook entry was dated February 14, 2015, and the last logbook entry was dated June 5, 2016. According to the information contained in the logbook, at the time of the last logbook entry, the pilot had accumulated 1,179.2 total flight hours, of which 28.7 hours were in the accident airplane. 

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The two-seat, high-wing, tail-wheel configured airplane, serial number 1589, was manufactured in 1991. The airplane was powered by a Rotax 582 LC 65-horsepower engine, and was equipped with a composite 3-blade ground-adjustable propeller. The airplane was purchased by the pilot on May 10, 2010. 

The most recent condition inspection was completed on July 11, 2015, at a total airframe and engine time of 432.6 hours. The hour meter reading observed at the accident site was 442.5 hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0956, the automated weather observing system at the Brookings Regional Airport (BKX), Brookings, South Dakota, located about 30 miles east of the accident site, recorded the following weather conditions: wind calm, sky clear, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 7 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane was recovered from the lake and examined at a facility near Lake Thompson. Examination of the airplane showed that the fuselage was buckled near the aft cabin bulkhead. The forward fuselage was crushed up and aft. The left wing displayed compression bending aft near the wing root, and the forward wing attachment was fractured. The left flaperon remained attached and its control fitting was fractured. The fracture was consistent with impact damage. The right wing remained attached to the fuselage and sustained minor damage. The right flaperon remained attached.

The empennage was intact with the rudder and elevator attached and minor damage was noted to the bottom of the rudder. The tailwheel remained attached and both main landing gears were separated from the fuselage.

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to the respective flight control surfaces.

The seat restraints were attached to the fuselage and were found unbuckled. The flap handle was observed in the up or retracted position. The throttle was pulled out about 1.5 inches, and the fuel selector was on.

The engine remained attached to the engine mount and fuselage. The propeller remained attached to the engine, and the propeller was manually rotated. Manual rotation of the propeller revealed compression and mechanical continuity throughout the engine. Two propeller blades were fractured aft near the blade root.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy of the pilot was performed at the Sanford Health Pathology Clinic, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The cause of death was asphyxia due to drowning during an airplane accident. Toxicology testing by the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute was negative for all substances tested.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The SD card from an iFly 700 Adventure Pilot GPS that was recovered from the airplane was submitted to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Division for data recovery. The card was undamaged and data was recovered normally. The data extracted included 164 track logs from February 14, 2009, through June 7, 2016. The accident flight was recorded starting at 0929:12 and ending at 1019:51.

The GPS data parameters recorded were the following: date, time, latitude, longitude, GPS speed, true course, and GPS altitude.

According to the data, the flight departed Y34 at 0929, turned southwest, and climbed to about 2,300 feet GPS altitude. As the airplane approached Lake Thompson, it descended to between 2,000 and 2,100 feet mean sea level (msl); Lake Thompson is at 1,700 feet msl. The airplane began flying a north/south pattern with 3.5 to 4 nautical mile legs. At 1007, the airplane began circling a point towards the western side of the lake. The last recorded data point was at 1019:51 at a GPS altitude of 1,955 feet and a ground speed of 34 knots. Due to data buffering on the GPS unit, the data recording may have ended before the airplane impacted the lake.



NTSB Identification: CEN16FA209
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 07, 2016 in De Smet, SD
Aircraft: PRUSS RICHARD S KITFOX IV, registration: N921RP
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators 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 June 7, 2016, at 1000 central daylight time, a Pruss Kitfox IV single-engine airplane, N921RP, impacted a lake following a loss of control while maneuvering at a low altitude near De Smet, South Dakota. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries, the passenger sustained serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. 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 time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight departed a private airstrip about 0930.

According to the passenger, who was interviewed by the Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot picked up the passenger at a private airstrip to assist in a search for a boat that sank in Lake Thompson on June 3rd. The pilot and passenger spotted the boat and then flew a right turn "racetrack" pattern about 150 feet above ground level. While maneuvering, the airplane was banked about 45 to 60 degrees at an airspeed about 50 miles per hour. During a turn, the airplane "snapped over" and the pilot stated the airplane stalled. The airplane spun about 1.5 to 2 rotations, impacted the lake, and sank. The passenger stated the engine operated normally until the impact with the water. 

According to local authorities, the passenger was rescued by persons assisting in the boat recovery. Efforts to rescue the pilot were unsuccessful.

The airplane was recovered from the lake and examined at a facility near Lake Thompson. Examination of the airplane showed the fuselage was buckled near the aft cabin bulkhead. The forward fuselage was crushed up and aft. The left wing displayed compression bending aft near the wing root, and the forward wing attachment was fractured. 

At 0956, the Brookings Regional Airport (BKX), Brookings, South Dakota, automated weather observing system, located approximately 30 miles east of the accident site, reported the wind calm, sky clear, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 7 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury.







DE SMET — The passenger in a fatal June 2016 plane crash near De Smet said the engine "operated normally" until impact with Lake Thompson, but the pilot told him it stalled mid air.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) final accident report released this week, passenger and Aurora resident Bruce Bortnem told authorities the Kitfox IV airplane's engine had normal functionality when it crashed, with the cause of the crash defined as a loss of control in flight. The crash killed 59-year-old pilot Randall Telkamp, of Brookings, who died from "asphyxia due to drowning" in the submerged plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration says loss of control is the top cause of fatal aviation crashes, and occur when a "flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin." Common causes include poor judgement, failure to recognize a stall and execute corrective action, failure to maintain airspeed or use of prescription or illegal drugs. Telkamp tested negative for drug use, according to the final report.

The crash occurred while Telkamp and Bortnem were assisting Douglas Kahler and Jeff Hallin, joined by his 12-year-old step-son, search for a wrecked boat in the 12,455-acre lake. And according to Hallin's statement released this week, the three men narrowly avoided being struck by the crashing aircraft.

"Suddenly I heard the planes (sic) RPM go up and looked over my shoulder in time to see the plane nosedive into the water about 150 yards away from us," Hallin wrote.

Kahler concurred, stating the aircraft nosed into the water and flipped on its top, submerging instantly.

Shortly after the crash, Kahler pulled Bortnem out of the water.

"I just started the boat and gunned it towards the wreck was (sic) at the wreck site in under one minute," Kahler wrote. "By the time I was three quarters the way there Bruce popped out of the wreckage and I put Bruce from water immediately."

Hallin dove underwater using dive gear to search for the wreckage multiple times, ultimately finding Telkamp "either still strapped in or entangled in debri(s)." Hallin attempted to remove Telkamp, but was unable.

The incident drew several law enforcement agencies and first responders to the lake, but the lake remained open to boaters throughout the day. Shortly after the crash, Bortnem was said to be in "fair condition."

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

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