Sunday, July 9, 2017

Morse Rebel, N914FM, KJ Enterprises: Fatal accident occurred June 05, 2015 at Eagle County Regional Airport (KEGE), Colorado

Karl Hipp


Lavonne and Amanda Hipp


Grandpa Karl flew to Minnesota from his home in Colorado at the beginning of summer this year. It was the first time he had been back to the state in about 20 years.

Karl Hipp was a small plane pilot with vast experience. On June 4, he pinned his granddaughter Amanda as staff sergeant through the national Civil Air Patrol program.

“It was my dream [to be a pilot] since I was 9 years old,” Amanda said. “It was a big day.”

“I was glad he was there and proud she was doing what she was doing,” Scott Hipp said.

The next day, Karl and Amanda flew back to Karl’s home in Colorado, where Amanda would be staying for a week. They were the only two aboard the small plane.

Throughout the trip down, they made multiple stops for fuel and rest, and Amanda texted her parents updates each time. When Lavonne and Scott didn’t receive an update on any final landing, they knew something was wrong.

Amanda’s memory cuts out from there, but it’s believed the crash was caused by difficult conditions at the Eagle, Colorado, airport, where they intended to land. They originally planned to land at a different airport, but a storm cell over the mountains forced Karl to go to Eagle, which Scott said is considered one of the more difficult landing spots in the country.

As they attempted to land, a burst of wind near the ground vaulted the plane into a different direction, and sent it heading toward the airport hangar. Karl managed to avoid multiple obstacles, but the plane was unable to lift over the hangar and crashed into it.

The family believes, and the wreckage seemed to indicate, that Karl veered the plane at the last moment to ensure the direct impact came on his side, rather than Amanda’s.

“He saved my life,” Amanda said.

Amanda had multiple broken bones in her face, lost three teeth, had punctures in her elbow, scarring above her left eye, internal bleeders and a 6-millimeter blood clot pushing against her brain. Following the crash, Lavonne, Scott and Alisha traveled to Colorado by car as fast as they could.

“It was devastating,” Lavonne remembers of first seeing Amanda in the hospital.

Amanda bounced back quickly, though, coming out of a medically induced coma after four days She progressed by leaps and bounds and returned to their Henderson home at the end of June. The family held Karl’s memorial service Aug. 15, and Amanda went back in a plane that same day.

“When we took off, I stopped breathing,” she said. “But then I took a couple of deep breaths and I just flew. After that, I was fine.”

Read more here: http://www.southernminn.com

This was Karl Hipp's plane. 


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

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

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

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

KJ Enterprises: http://registry.faa.gov/aN914FM  





NTSB Identification: CEN15FA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 05, 2015 in Eagle, CO, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2016
Aircraft: MORSE FRANK L REBEL, registration: N914FM
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.

The pilot was landing the experimental, amateur-built airplane in gusty, crosswind conditions. Witnesses observed the airplane enter a sharp left turn away from the runway at a very low altitude, overfly the airport taxiway and ramp area, then impact a hangar on the airport property. A witness stated that “the wind caught [the airplane]” as it was landing. The airplane had a stated crosswind limitation of 15 knots. Based on recorded wind data, the calculated crosswind component was between 13.7 knots and 16.8 knots. Examination of the airplane wreckage did not reveal any anomalies that would have prevented normal operation. The accident sequence is consistent with the pilot losing control of the airplane while landing in gusty, crosswind conditions that likely exceeded the recommended crosswind limitation of the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while landing in gusty, crosswind conditions that likely exceeded the recommended limitation of the airplane.



HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On June 5, 2015, at 1647 mountain daylight time, a Morse Rebel experimental amateur-built airplane, N914FM, impacted a hangar and parking ramp at the Eagle Regional Airport (EGE), Eagle, Colorado. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. There were no ground injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal, cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was being operated without a flight plan. 

GPS data recovered from an avionic device found in the wreckage recorded three flights on the day of the accident. The first flight data began at 08:11:12 in south-central Minnesota. Enroute stops were recorded from 09:25-09:50 at Martin Field Airport (7K8), Iowa, and from 12:57-13:40 at Holyoke Airport (HEQ), Colorado. The flightpath tracked from HEQ to the West-Northwest before turning southwest near Walden, Colorado, towards EGE.

The airplane flew a visual approach to land on runway 25 at EGE. During the approach the tower controller provided the pilot the current wind direction and velocity of 220 degrees at 21 knots, gusting to 26 knots. A witness observed the airplane very near to the runway during landing when "the wind caught [the airplane]". The airplane climbed away from the runway and completed an approximately 180 degree, rapid left turn. The airplane's flight path overflew the airport parking ramp on an easterly heading, mostly wings level, and in a slightly nose high attitude until just before it impacted the west face of hanger number four on the airport property. Before impact, the airplane began a left descending roll and hit the hanger in a left bank of about 75 degrees and approximately thirty-five feet above the ground. The airplane subsequently fell to the parking ramp and came to rest inverted. First responders told investigators it was not raining when they first reached the airplane, but it started raining within a few minutes of their arrival. 

Security camera footage captured portions of the accident flight, and the footage confirmed the witness reports. 

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot, age 68, held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, and instrument airplane. The pilot also held a mechanic – airframe and powerplant certificate. The pilot's current pilot log book was not located; however, a pilot log book was located with the last entries dated September 2, 2011. As of that date, the pilot had logged a total of 2,536.5 hours. The pilot's last 3rd class airman's medical certificate was dated February 4, 2013. The pilot claimed 3,000 total flight hours and 50 flight hours in the past 6 months on that application.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The single engine, high wing, two-seat, fixed gear airplane, serial number 0147R, was assembled in 1996. It was powered by a Lycoming D-320 engine, serial number 3556-27, that drove a composite, two-bladed Props, INC. 74x746 propeller. The airplane's last condition inspection was accomplished on February 15, 2015, at a recorded tachometer time of 215.9 hours. The airplane was equipped with a flaperon system.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1650 MDT, KEGE reported a wind from 200° at 18 knots with gusts to 22 knots, visibility ten statute miles or greater, light rain, overcast cloud base at 7,000 feet above ground level (agl), temperature of 20° Celsius (C) and dew point temperature of 16°C, altimeter setting 30.16 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Eagle Regional Airport (EGE) is a public airport located at measured altitude of 6,547 feet mean sea level. It has one runway; runway 7/25, 9,000 feet by 150 feet, of asphalt construction.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the west facing front of a metal-sided hangar about thirty-five feet above the ground and subsequently fell to the parking ramp. The airplane came to rest inverted. The wreckage was removed to a secure location and examined. Flight control continuity was verified to all flight controls, and no pre-impact anomalies were noted with any airplane systems or the engine. The position of the airplane's flaperon handle could not be determined due to impact damage.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

An autopsy was authorized and conducted on the pilot by the Rocky Mountain Forensic Services, PLLC, Loma, Colorado. The cause of death was the result of multiple injuries sustained in an airplane accident. 

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Results were negative for all substances tested for.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The following devices containing non-volatile memory (NVM) were recovered from the wreckage and sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vehicle Recorder Division for examination: 

Device Manufacturer/Model: iFly GPS 720

Serial Number: Unknown.

The iFly GPS 720 exhibited damage due to impact forces. No accident related data was recorded on the device's internal memory.

Device Manufacturer/Model: AvMap Ultra 

Serial Number: 4120423 

The AvMap Ultra exhibited major damage due to impact forces. No accident related data was recorded on the device's internal memory. 

Device Manufacturer/Model: SD Memory Card 

Serial Number: BI1401222811D 

The SD memory card exhibited minimal damage due to impact forces, but no accident related data was recorded on the device.

Device Manufacturer/Model: HTC One M8 Phone 

Serial Number: 310003202964795

The HTC One M8 phone exhibited minimal damage due to impact forces. Nine photographs from the accident flight were recovered from the phone. Timing of each of the photos was established using the metadata embedded in the image files, and the timing ranged from 1635 to 1638 MDT. 

Device Manufacturer/Model: Samsung Galaxy Tab (Black) 

Serial Number: R52G10SC1WB 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab (Black) exhibited minimal damage due to impact forces. The internal memory was recovered using laboratory hardware and software. GPS data was recovered that captured each leg of the cross-country flight that occurred on the day of the accident, beginning at 08:11:12 and ending at 16:49:53.

Device Manufacturer/Model: Samsung Galaxy Tab (White) 

Serial Number: R52FB0DLAZH 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab (White) exhibited major damage due to impact forces. Due to the damage, no data could be recovered from the device.

Device Manufacturer/Model: Apple iPad 

Serial Number: DMPJ75EEDNQT 

The Apple iPad exhibited minimal damage due to impact forces. No accident related data was recorded on the device.

Performance Study:

A Performance Study was conducted utilizing GPS data obtained from the Samsung Galaxy Tab (black) and weather data recorded at EGE at 1650 MDT. The GPS data reflected the accident flight, which originated at Holyoke Airport in Holyoke, Colorado at about 13:43 MDT. The flight duration was three hours and five minutes. The weather at EGE at 1650 was reported as 10 statute miles visibility, overcast skies at 7,000 feet, light rain, and winds from 200 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 22 knots.

The aircraft approached runway 25 at an equivalent airspeed of 75 knots (kts) and slowed to 65 kts as it crossed the runway threshold. The equivalent airspeed calculation relied on the 18 kts wind report; the reported gusting winds up to 22 kts would change the equivalent airspeed. The final 400 ft of descent was done along a glide slope of 4.7 degrees. Runway 25 has a four light precision approach path indicator (PAPI) with a 3.0 degree glide path. The aircraft's rate of climb (descent) during this final portion of the flight was between -600 and -800 ft/min.

About 18 seconds after crossing the threshold, about 1,200 feet down the runway, the aircraft turned sharply to the left. The aircraft departed the runway, crossed over a taxiway, and continued over the ramp before impacting the hanger. During the final 40 seconds of flight the aircraft crossed the threshold at an equivalent airspeed of 64 kts (groundspeed was 54 kts) and slowed to just above 40 kts (30 kts groundspeed) when it began to turn to the left. As the aircraft left the runway, its airspeed increased until it was about 67 kts (64 kts groundspeed) as it crossed over the taxiway.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

The Pilot's Operating Manual stated the maximum recommended crosswind as 15 knots at 90 degrees. Based on recorded wind data, the calculated crosswind component was 13.7 knots, 16.8 knots with gusts.







NTSB Identification: CEN15FA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 05, 2015 in Eagle, CO, CO
Aircraft: MORSE FRANK L REBEL, registration: N914FM
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 5, 2015, at 1647 mountain daylight time, a Morse Rebel experimental amateur-built airplane, N914FM, impacted a hangar and parking ramp at the Eagle Regional Airport (EGE), Eagle, Colorado. The commercial pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. There were no ground injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal, cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was being operated without a flight plan. 

The airplane flew a visual approach to land on runway 25 at EGE. During the approach the tower controller provided the pilot wind direction and velocity of 220 degrees at 21 knots, gusting to 26 knots. A witness observed the airplane very near to the runway during landing when "the wind caught [the airplane]". The airplane climbed away from the runway and an approximately 180 degree left turn occurred. The airplane overflew the airport parking ramp on an easterly heading, mostly wings level, and in a slightly nose high attitude until just prior to impacting the west face of hanger number four on the airport property. Prior to impact, the airplane began a left descending roll and hit the hanger in about 75 degrees left bank about thirty-five feet above the ground. The airplane subsequently fell to the parking ramp and came to rest inverted. First responders told investigators it was not raining when they first reached the airplane, but it started raining within a few minutes of their arrival. 

The weather at EGE at 1650 was reported as 10 statute miles visibility, overcast skies at 7,000 feet, light rain, and winds from 200 degrees at 18 knots, gusting to 22 knots.

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