Friday, September 08, 2017

Menzimer Gary Ray Firestar: Accident occurred July 30, 2017 at Sharretts Airport (PN91), Westfield, Tioga County, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA536
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 30, 2017 in Westfield, PA
Aircraft: MENZIMER GARY RAY FIRESTAR, registration: Unreg
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the experimental amateur-built airplane reported in a written statement that he had recently purchased the accident airplane and upon receiving it, he completed numerous taxi runs in a straight line, but did not attempt to takeoff due to poor weather. He added that the airplane was hard to taxi in a straight line. He further reported that days later, with improved weather, he decided to complete a "test flight."

During the initial climb, he reported that the airplane "immediately started to drift to the left" and as the airplane continued to climb, the airplane "continued to make a left turn." He added that he applied right rudder, aileron, and increased the power from 1/2 to 3/4 full, but again the airplane continued to the left. He reported that he flew in the local area for about 20 minutes and could not resolve the left turning issue, and he then had concerns about the remaining fuel quantity, so he attempted to land at his private airstrip. He reported that he attempted two approaches, but the airplane continued turning to the left toward trees and he performed go-arounds. During the third approach, he decided he would attempt to "touch down as quickly as possible," but during the landing flare the airplane continued to the left and impacted trees. 

The airplane was destroyed.

The pilot reported, "after replaying the accident in my mind, I decided that when I was doing my test taxiing, I might have been introvertly [sic] pressing the left trim button on the control stick. I might have done this several times which resulted in the crash."

The pilot did not report that there were any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot failed to submit the NTSB Form 6120.1 Pilot/ Operator Aircraft Accident/ Incident Report. He also did not report that he had received any recent flight training. 

A Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector reported that, he located the electric rudder trim switch on top of the control stick and observed the rudder trim servo in the full left trim position. He further reported that, the accident airplane was unregistered since the registration certificate had lapsed. He reported that the pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane, was required to renew the registration certificate. He added that the pilot reported to him that he had not flown as pilot in command for 20 years. 

A technical representative for the experimental airplane kit manufacturer reported that the accident airplane builder kit original design does not include electric trim for any flight control surfaces.

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