Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fleetwood Jack, Team Air-Bike, N7566D: Accident occurred October 11, 2017 near Ocean Springs Airport (5R2), Jackson County, Mississippi

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location:  Ocean Springs, MS
Accident Number: ANC18LA002
Date & Time: 10/11/2017, 0900 CDT
Registration: N7566D
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 11, 2017 about 0900 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built, Fleetwood Jack, Team Air-Bike airplane, N7566D sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, following a partial loss of engine power while attempting to return to Ocean Springs Airport (5R2), Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot, as a visual flight rules flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. The certificated airline transport pilot and sole occupant was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that he was contemplating purchasing the airplane, and the flight was a part of the pre-buy inspection. He stated that during the test flight he reduced the power to test the slow speed handling characteristics of the airplane. Following slow flight, he increased the throttle, but the engine seemed to "bog down." In an attempt to increase the engine's RPM, he lowered the airplane's nose and the engine seemed to respond and run normal again. He stated that he was uncomfortable with the way the engine was operating and decided to return to 5R2. During the approach to runway 36 at 5R2, the airplane seemed to "bog down" again, he subsequently lowered the airplane's nose, but the engine continued to operate at a reduced power setting. Realizing he would be unable to reach the airport, he selected an off-airport landing site in a residential area. During the forced landing the airplane impacted a fence sustaining substantial damage to the wings.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 2005. It was an experimental single place, externally braced high wing airplane, with a two-blade fixed wood propeller, and a Rotax 503, 50 hp, two-stroke engine.

According to an FAA inspector, the accident airplane, as equipped did not meet the requirements contained in 14 CFR Part 103 to be considered an Ultralight Vehicle.

The closest weather reporting facility was Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Mississippi, about 10 miles west of the accident site. At 0856, an Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) from Keesler Air Force Base was reporting, in part: wind from 010 degrees at 5 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; clouds and sky condition, clear; temperature, 79 degrees F; dew point 75 degrees F; altimeter, 30.06 inHG.

A detailed wreckage examination is pending.

The pilot of an ultra light-weight plane escaped injuries when he made a crash landing in the yard of a home in Gulf Park Estates, officials said.

The one-seat plane, with a 4-gallon gas tank, was having mechanical problems before the crash Wednesday morning, Jackson County Emergency Services Director Earl Etheridge said.

The plane crashed into a wooden privacy fence at a home on Marguerite Drive.

“The pilot tried to make it into an open field and unfortunately, he didn’t make it. He’s not hurt. He just ran into a fence,” Etheridge said.

James Hitterman had departed from the Ocean Springs Airport to test-fly the plane and was in the air about 15 minutes when the plane lost power, Sheriff Mike Ezell said.

A homeowner in the neighborhood near Ocean Springs heard a loud noise and went outside to discover a crashed plane in the yard, he said.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -  An ultralight aircraft fell out of the sky and crashed into the backyard of a home on Marguerite Dr. in the Gulf Park Estates area of Jackson County, according to county emergency services director Earl Etheridge.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said the pilot took off from Ocean Springs Airport on Wednesday morning to test fly the single-seat plane and was in the air for about 15 minutes when the aircraft lost power.

Ezell said the pilot was unable to make it back to the airport and was forced to perform an emergency landing.

The pilot was shaken up but not injured, Etheridge said.

A witness said he was standing outside talking on the phone when he saw the plane circling overhead. Minutes later, he heard the crash.

The aircraft crashed into a fence, but no other residential damage has been reported. We're told officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

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