Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tornado flew Cessna 170B N2836C on mountain east of Jasper, Newton County, Arkansas

http://registry.faa.gov/N2836C



PIERCETOWN — It only took a couple of minutes, but the tornado that basically destroyed Parthenon raked the area of Piercetown and damaged three airplanes, completely destroying one.

Newton County Judge Warren Campbell was in Parthenon early Tuesday morning surveying damage there. He said it appeared the storm lifted out of the valley and touched down again a few miles east of Jasper on Highway 74.

Ralph Day lives about six miles east Jasper. Between Ralph and his nephews, they had three airplanes on top of the mountain, two in an indoor hangar and one in an open-air hangar.

Ralph said the storm happened quickly, but it did a lot of damage to the planes and his home.

He said it rained in torrents for a couple of minutes and they had decided to go to the basement. That’s when they heard the heaviest part of the storm.

“It was like a freight train,” Dwight Day said.

It didn’t take the National Weather Service’s confirmation that the storm was a tornado to convince Dwight. Trees were laying on the ground in different directions, indicating rotating winds hit the area.




Ralph explained there were two airplanes in the indoor hangar, a single engine and a small biplane. They just put a new metal roof on the building last summer.

On Tuesday morning, in the light of day, the metal roof had been mostly blown off and the single-engine plane was under a pile of debris. The biplane was still inside the hangar, but it had damage to the wings.

The third plane, the one in the open-air hangar, was located 50 yards or more away from the hangar. Dwight said it was difficult to even find it Tuesday night in the dark, but it looked more like scrap metal in the daylight.

Ralph said the tornado completely destroyed the open-air hangar, throwing a one-ton support pole around like a fence post.

“There was a lot of force there,” Ralph said.

More storm damage was visible along Highway 74 on into Piercetown. Crews from Carroll Electric Cooperative were in the area with new utility poles on trailers.

On Highway 123, just south of Hasty, a Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department crew was clearing Highway 123, a sweeper in use to clean up final loose debris about 9:20 a.m.

Source:  http://harrisondaily.com

Rans S-6S Coyote II, N627DK: Accident occurred December 02, 2016 - left wheel axle broke off during landing, strut dug into the grass, aircraft flipped over























AIRCRAFT:   2000 MOORE D R/MOORE K I  S-6S SUPER COYOTE II N627DK,  s/n 01001 355

ENGINE:   ROTAX 12S s/n:  442522       

PROPELLER:  WORP DRIVE (3 blade) s/n: T1315

APPROXIMATE TOTAL HOURS (estimated TT & TSMO from logbooks or other information):

ENGINE:   TT at last annual 1244.6 hours.

PROPELLER:    1244.6 hours  (destroyed)   

AIRFRAME:     1244.6 at last annual in November 2016

OTHER EQUIPMENT:      PS Engineering PD 7100, KLX 135A Comm, KT76A transponder, ELT ACT EL1

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On 12/02/16, the left wheel axle broke off during landing, the strut dug into the grass, and the aircraft flipped over.

DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:  The damage includes but may not be limited to:

The propeller broken blade, prop strike
Engine is bent up at a 45 degree angle, engine mounts are bent. Engine experienced prop strike.
Exhaust manifold is broken at welds.
Damage to firewall
Upper and lower cowling is damaged
Both gears doors are bent.
Windscreen was scratched and crazed from cowling impact
Rudder damage, vertical stabilizer damage, tail damage
Left wheel strut is damaged, left axle failed
Right wing tip crushed internally
Right wing attachment bolts are bent
Rudder cable is broken.
Aircraft tail has been twisted
Right side of instrument panel is damaged
Rear canopy Plexiglas is popped from mounting screws

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:   Sky Ranch Airport near Crestview, FL. 

REMARKS: The airframe has few areas that were not damaged, deformed, or bent. 

Read more here:   http://www.avclaims.com/N627DK.htm

Cessna 310Q, N7817Q: Incident occurred March 07, 2017 at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (KSJC), San Jose, California

http://registry.faa.gov/N7817Q

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: San Jose 

Aircraft on landing, nose gear collapsed.  

Date: 07-MAR-17
Time: 20:30:00Z
Regis#: N7817Q
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: C310
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: SAN JOSE

State: CALIFORNIA




SAN JOSE  — A Cessna 310Q airplane made an emergency landing at Mineta San Jose International Airport Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said.

The plane took off from Reid-Hillview Airport around noon and, after determining that it needed to make an emergency landing, circled nearby to burn off fuel.

The call came at 12:26 p.m. into Mineta San Jose, where the longer runway and better equipment made it a safer choice for an emergency landing, Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

The plane landed without much incident at 12:34 p.m., though the front landing gear did collapse upon landing, Matlow said. Fire crews stood by at both airports.

No fuel was spilled and neither occupant of the plane was injured, Matlow said. Runway 30 was shut down briefly for the landing.

The San Jose-bound plane that crashed into a home in Riverside last week, killing three San Jose residents and critically injuring two others, was also a Cessna 310.


Source:   http://kron4.com





No injuries reported after a small plane experiencing problems with its landing gear made an emergency landing Tuesday afternoon at Mineta San Jose International Airport.

The Cessna 310Q front gear collapsed during the landing and two people on board were unharmed, officials said.

Source:  http://www.nbcbayarea.com

A dramatic landing gives student pilot a unique perspective: Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse, New Horizons Aviation Inc., N979DC; accident occurred January 19, 2015 in Shipshewana, Newbury Township, LaGrange County, Indiana




January 19, 2015, is a day that will forever live in the mind of Jordan Stoltzfus, a sophomore aviation student at Hesston College.

On that day, Stoltzfus survived total engine failure of an airplane, followed by an emergency landing, and lived to tell about it–an experience that not many pilots, seasoned veterans or otherwise, would ever be able to relate to.


Only four days prior to the accident had Stoltzfus, then a senior at Westview High School (Topeka, Ind.), taken his first solo flight in hopes of eventually attaining his private pilot’s license.


This love for flight took wing from a young age. Stoltzfus says he always dreamed of flying as a kid. From airshows with his dad to aspiring to be an astronaut in the third grade, becoming a pilot was truly “the dream.”


And so, New Horizons Aviation in Goshen, Ind., seemed like the perfect place to start aviation training. It would give Stoltzfus a head-start as he headed into Hesston College’s aviation program on a soccer scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year.


“It was a cold, January day,” Stoltzfus said. “I had maybe eleven flight hours under my belt and I was on my own.”


Soon after takeoff, the engine started causing trouble. The cause would later be uncovered: a chunk of ice in front of the air filter. That was all. But in the moment, all Stoltzfus could do was follow routine procedures and hope for the best.


The best didn’t happen, and soon Stoltzfus was proceeding with an emergency landing in his neighbor’s yard.


And then he blacked out.


“The next thing I remember was coming to and there was no glass broken, the cockpit was in one piece, and I wasn’t in any pain. I got up and walked away. It was a miracle.” 


Awakening to find himself unscathed, Stoltzfus then saw his dad and neighbor hurrying over. 911 was on their way with an ambulance. But after a quick examination, Stoltzfus was given the okay and headed home, not a mark on his body to prove the accident had happened.

“It was a miracle–a God thing,” Stoltzfus remarks as he relives the accident in his mind.

Yet, even though his physical appearance had not altered, Stoltzfus’ emotional state, along with those of his parents, was a different story.

“I still get worked up talking about it,” Stoltzfus said. “The next couple of days [after the accident], I struggled with PTSD. It took pills to put me to sleep at night.”

“My mom would break down,” notes Stoltzfus.

And his dad? The day of the accident, he hadn’t even known his son was out on a flight. Putting the pieces together while running over to the scene of the accident was gut-wrenching.

But even with the trauma of the experience still living inside him, Stoltzfus took to the air just two weeks after the accident. While he admits that he was on edge for his first solo flight after the accident, Stoltzfus says that each flight got better and better.

It has been two years and counting since the accident, and Jordan Stoltzfus is only a few months from graduating from Hesston College with his aviation degree, having completed the private, instrument, commercial, and instructor/multi-engine courses.

Dan Miller, aviation director at Hesston College, speaks to Stoltzfus’ success: “Jordan is a talented individual, who continues to develop his risk management decision-making experiences. Enhanced caution is definitely within Jordan’s mindset.”

When asked how he sees the accident affecting the kind of pilot Stoltzfus is becoming, Miller says, “This question has an ongoing answer as the kind of pilot Jordan is becoming continues to develop. His aviation experiences are strengthening Jordan’s personal character as he carries himself with professional confidence.”

And so, Stoltzfus continues to use the dramatic experiences of the past to set him apart as a pilot.

When asked how this experience has changed him, he quickly said, “You don’t know what it’s like until you fly solo and your engine quits. I had an experience that no one [in the Hesston aviation program] has had. That experience will help land me a job.”

And what’s after Hesston College for Stoltzfus? He chuckled and said, “I’ve got a job at New Horizons Aviation. I’m going back to where it all started.”

One more Lark has left his mark, and now heads for the skies.

Original article can be found here: http://www.hesston.edu

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration; South Bend, Indiana
Continental Motors Inc; Mobile, Alabama

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

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

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N979DC 

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA106
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 19, 2015 in Shipshewana, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/2015
Aircraft: DIAMOND AIRCRAFT IND INC DA 20 C1, registration: N979DC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot reported that he was practicing solo ground reference maneuvers about 1,600 ft above ground level when the engine began operating erratically. He further stated that the airplane might have entered an aerodynamic stall. He advanced the throttle to full forward, but the engine did not respond and subsequently experienced a total loss of power. He attempted to restart the engine by completing the emergency procedures that he remembered. The engine “turned over” but did not restart. He then prepared for a forced landing to a nearby field. During the base-to-final turn, he lost control of the airplane, and it descended to the ground. The airplane impacted the field and continued into a propane tank and then a house where it came to rest. 
A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that most of the induction air filter was obstructed by ice; no other anomalies were noted. The engine was test run with and without the ice in the air filter, and the engine produced full power under both conditions. The alternate air lever, which selects a second induction air intake in case the primary air intake (air filter) becomes restricted, was found in the “off” position. The aircraft flight manual states that, in the event of an in-flight engine failure, the alternate air control should be opened (or “on”). A Federal Aviation Administration advisory circular warns pilots of induction system icing known as “impact ice,” which can build up on components like the air filter when moisture-laden air is near freezing. Based on the near-freezing outside air temperature and clouds in the area in which the flight was operating and the lack of any apparent engine malfunctions, it is likely that the primary air induction system became obstructed with impact ice during the flight. 

When asked about the airplane’s alternate air lever, the student pilot indicated that he was unfamiliar with the lever and did not know its intended use. If the student pilot had opened the alternate air control during the initial power loss, it is likely that engine power would have been restored. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The total loss of engine power due to impact ice obstructing the primary air induction system, which resulted from the student pilot’s failure to operate the alternate air control. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s lack of knowledge about using the alternate air control during an engine power loss. 









On January 19, 2015, about 1700 eastern standard time, a Diamond Aircraft Inc. DA 20 C1 airplane, N979DC, made a forced landing into a field near Shipshewana, Indiana. The solo student pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by New Horizons Aviation Inc. under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a solo instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed from the Goshen Municipal Airport (GSH), Goshen, Indiana about 1645. 

According to the student pilot, he was about 1,600 feet above ground level practicing ground reference maneuvers. He reported that the engine operation became erratic and the airplane might have entered an aerodynamic stall. He advanced the throttle to full forward, but the engine did not respond and experienced a total loss of power. He attempted to restart the engine by completing the emergency procedures that he remembered. The engine "turned over" but did not restart. He then prepared for a forced landing into a nearby field. During the base to final turn, he lost control of the airplane and descended to the ground. The airplane impacted the field and continued into a propane tank and then a house where it came to rest. 

The student pilot reported having accumulated 12 total flight hours, all of which were logged in the preceding 30 days, and in the same make and model airplane. 

The airplane was a two seat, low wing, tricycle landing gear, training airplane which was manufactured in 2005. It was powered by a 125-horsepower Continental Motors Inc. IO-240 engine, which drove a Sensenich two-bladed, fixed pitched, wooden propeller. 

On January 22, 2015, the airplane was examined after the accident by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector and a representative from Continental Motors Inc. The examination revealed that the majority of the induction air filter was covered with ice. The alternate air lever in the airplane was OFF. The engine cylinders each displayed normal operating signatures. The spark plugs displayed normal wear signatures when compared to a Champion Aviation Service Manual No. AV6-R. Internal crankshaft continuity was established by rotating the propeller. Additionally, all four cylinders displayed thumb suction and compression. The top spark plugs and ignition leads were reinstalled for an engine operational test run. The air filter remained impacted with ice during the first engine run; the engine was capable of running with the throttle full forward and produced about 2,200 RPM which is normal for a fixed pitch propeller. The alternate air lever was moved to ON and the engine was still capable of producing about 2,200 RPM. The engine was then shut down and the ice removed from the air filter. The engine was subjected to a second test run; the engine produced 2,200 RPM with the throttle advanced to full forward. The ignition switch was actuated to test both magnetos and the decreases in RPM were normal and the engine indications displayed normal operating parameters. Other than the ice in the air induction filter there were no anomalies noted that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and empennage. 

During the postaccident investigation, the pilot was asked about the airplane's alternate air lever. He reported that he was unfamiliar with the lever and did not know its intended use. He also stated that he flew through some low clouds during the flight, but they did not obstruct his view of the ground and he was able to maintain visual flight rules (VFR) the entire time.

At 1653 the weather observation station at GSH, which was located 13 miles southwest, reported the following conditions: wind from 200 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 12,000 feet, temperature 36° Fahrenheit (F), dew point 30° F, altimeter setting 29.94 inches of mercury.

Using the average temperature lapse rate, 3.5° F per 1,000 feet, the temperature at 1,600 feet would have been about 30° F. 

The Diamond Aircraft Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) stated in Chapter 7.9.2 Engine Controls: The alternate air control selects a second induction air intake in case of restriction of the primary air intake (air filter). 

AFM Chapter 3.3.1 (c) Engine Failure during Flight – ENGINE RUNNING ROUGHLY – the pilot should perform the following checklist:

1. Mixture – FULL RICH

2. Alternate Air – OPEN

3. Fuel Shut-off – OPEN

4. Fuel Pump – ON

5. Ignition Switch – cycle L – BOTH – R – BOTH

6. Throttle – at present position

7. No Improvement – reduce throttle to minimum required power, land as soon as possible. 

FAA Advisory Circular 20-113. The Advisory Circular states that one form of induction system icing is impact ice and states in part:

"Impact ice is formed by moisture-laden air at temperatures below freezing, striking and freezing on elements of the induction system which are at temperatures of 32° F or below. Under these conditions, ice may build up on such components as the air scoops, heat or alternate air valves, intake screens, and protrusions in the carburetor. Pilots should be particularly alert for such icing when flying in snow, sleet, rain, or clouds, especially when they see ice forming on the windshield or leading edge of the wings. The ambient temperature at which impact ice can be expected to build most rapidly is about 25° F, when the super cooled moisture in the air is still in a semi liquid state. This type of icing affects an engine with fuel injection, as well as carbureted engines. It is usually preferable to use carburetor heat or alternate air as an ice prevention means..."

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

Robert Alexander



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 Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 


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


Analysis 

The pilot, who did not hold a pilot or medical certificate, had been performing multiple high-speed taxi tests in the experimental amateur-built airplane since he had completed construction of it about 2 months before the accident. During those tests, the airplane had been pulling to the left. About 1 month before the accident, the pilot performed the first flight test; however, shortly after getting airborne, the airplane rolled left, departed the runway, struck a hangar, and sustained substantial damage. He spent the next month repairing the damage sustained in that accident and performing more high-speed taxi tests.

Onboard video footage revealed that, during the days leading up to the final accident, the pilot performed multiple high-speed taxi tests but was unable to maintain a straight track down the runway. On the day of the accident, he performed another erratic high-speed taxi test during which the airplane veered left and right, but, instead of stopping and attempting to determine the reason for the directional control problem, he turned the airplane around and departed in the opposite direction. Shortly after rotation, the airplane began to roll left. The pilot applied corrective control inputs (right aileron and rudder), and, although the control surfaces responded appropriately, the left turn continued. The airplane then rapidly rolled to a steep left bank, the nose dropped, and the airplane rolled over into a spin. The airplane struck the ground in a nose-down attitude, and the pilot was fatally injured.

Postaccident examination revealed that a load-carrying structural member on the forward left side of the airframe had not been properly secured when the pilot constructed the airplane. The unsecured structural member created a differential load between the left and right wing supporting structures and flying wires. This differential load was further increased as the airplane departed the runway surface, which transferred the weight of the pilot from the landing gear to the unsecured structural member. The resultant imbalance likely caused the left wing to warp, creating aerodynamic forces that could not be overcome by the flight controls.

Witness marks on the structural member indicated that the error had gone undetected since construction was completed, and it was most likely the reason for the loss of control during the first flight test about 1 month before the accident. The airplane had not been registered with the FAA and did not have an airworthiness certificate, which should have been done before a flight test. Therefore, it did not benefit from receiving an official inspection from an FAA representative, who may have caught the error.

The toxicology findings indicated that the pilot had used substantial amounts of methamphetamine in combination with hydrocodone (an impairing opioid), diazepam (an impairing benzodiazepine), THC (the active compound in marijuana), gabapentin (an impairing anti-seizure medication), and possibly alcohol before attempting flight. It could not be determined if the pilot was in the "high" phase of use and feeling grandiose and euphoric, or if he was beginning to come down from his high and feeling dysphoric and agitated at the time he elected to attempt flight. In either case, it is very likely that the pilot's judgement and decision-making were impaired by his use of methamphetamine in combination with multiple other impairing substances and that his impairment contributed to his willingness to attempt a flight in the airplane without having identified and repaired the known control problem with the airplane 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to identify and correct his construction error of a critical structural component, which resulted in a loss of airplane control during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impairment due to his combined use of multiple medications and illicit drugs, which led to his improper decision to attempt the flight despite evidence indicating that the error had not been addressed. 

Findings

Aircraft
Frames (main fuselage) - Incorrect service/maintenance (Cause)
Frames (main fuselage) - Inadequate inspection (Cause)

Personnel issues
Illicit drug - Pilot (Factor)
Prescription medication - Pilot (Factor)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Factor)
Understanding/comprehension - Pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight
Aircraft maintenance event

Takeoff
Aircraft structural failure (Defining event)

Initial climb
Loss of control in flight

Uncontrolled descent

Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)



Location: Hesperia, CA
Accident Number: WPR17FA074
Date & Time: 03/07/2017, 1018 PST
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Aircraft: QUICKSILVER MXL II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aircraft structural failure
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test 

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 pilot, who was operating with an expired student pilot certificate, sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was operated by the pilot/builder as a test flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to friends of the pilot, the pilot had been performing multiple high-speed taxi tests in the airplane since its completion about 2 months before the accident. He reported to his friends that, during those tests, the airplane had been pulling to the left. About 1 month before the accident, he performed the first flight test; however, shortly after getting airborne, the airplane rolled left, departed the runway area, struck a hangar, and sustained substantial damage. The pilot then spent the next month repairing the damage and performing more high-speed taxi tests.

On the day of the accident, a witness observed the pilot taxiing the airplane back and forth along the runway, before initiating a takeoff roll from runway 3. After rotation, the airplane climbed to about 50 ft above ground level (agl) while drifting to the left of the runway centerline. It continued in a shallow climbing left turn, and, after reaching about 100 ft agl, it transitioned to a 90° left roll. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the airplane rolled inverted into the ground.

Video imagery recovered from a GoPro HERO 5 digital camera onboard the airplane revealed that, after starting the engine, the pilot performed a high-speed taxi along the full length of runway 21, lasting about 80 seconds. During that time, the airplane veered left and right, completely crossing the centerline eight times. After reaching the end of the runway, the pilot turned the airplane around and then increased engine power, and the airplane began to accelerate down runway 3. About 15 seconds later, the right wheel began to lift off the runway, followed a few seconds later by the left wheel. The airplane began a level climb over the centerline for the next 4 seconds, after which it began to bank to the left. The pilot moved the control stick to the right, and the ailerons responded by moving in the correct direction (right up, left down), and the right rudder cable went taught, consistent with an application of right rudder pedal. The airplane continued to bank to the left, as the nose started to pitch up. The left bank continued to increase, and the pilot moved the stick farther to the right. A few seconds later, the angle of bank reached about 45°, and the airplane's heading was now perpendicular to the runway. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the airplane transitioned into a spiral, striking the ground in a nose-down attitude after about 3/4 of a turn. The engine was operating throughout the flight.

The video footage revealed that the pilot had exclusive use of the runway during the takeoff and taxi runs, and there were no other aircraft in the traffic pattern. 



Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/20/1983
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0.1 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot was awarded medical certificates in 1979 and 1983, and both were marked, "valid for student pilot purposes only." At the time of those examinations, he had no useful vision in his left eye, and he failed the color vision test in 1979 but passed it in 1983. The pilot's partner reported that he was blind in his left eye at the time of the accident.

Acquaintances of the pilot stated that he had flown ultralight aircraft for an extended period but that he did not keep records documenting such experience. The pilot's partner stated that, although the pilot had experience flying ultralight aircraft, he had not flown recently and was considering formally attaining his private pilot certificate. She offered to help him with the process, and he reported that he would pursue it once the airplane was completed and flying. 



Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: QUICKSILVER
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Model/Series: MXL II
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: NONE
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 725 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT:  Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The two-seat, high-wing airplane had a primary structure that consisted of fabric-covered metal tubing braced with flying wires. It was powered by a Rotax 582-series engine, serial number 9618333, mounted in a "pusher" configuration. No maintenance records were recovered.

The pilot's partner stated that, while building the airplane, the pilot had found the construction manual confusing and frustrating, and he had asked a friend to assist with some of the construction tasks. She stated that he planned to register the airplane with the FAA once it was finished and flying. 



Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVCV, 2885 ft msl
Observation Time: 1815 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 346°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -5°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 30°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hesperia, CA (L26)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hesperia, CA (L26)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1017 PST
Type of Airspace: Class E



Airport Information

Airport: HESPERIA (L26)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3390 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3910 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  34.375278, -117.318889

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 gasoline was present throughout the site.

The primary load carrying structure of the airplane was composed of an aluminum "root tube" to which the engine, wings, king-post, and lower trike assembly were attached. The trike assembly supported the pilot and passenger seats, along with the landing gear and cockpit controls. The trike assembly included the axle and axle struts and a series of steel cross- and down-tubes 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 intended 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 not fully inserted into the upper tube; it was 1 1/4 inch short of full insertion, such that the securing bolt only passed through the holes in the upper tube and was resting against the upper end of the lower tube rather than interlocking the upper and lower tubes (see figure). The mating surfaces of the tubes exhibited rust-colored corrosion and longitudinal striations consistent with movement, and the upper end of the lower tube displayed dimple marks where it had been resting against the bolt shank on the upper tube. The entire interlocking assembly was wrapped with insulating foam and could not readily be observed by the pilot.


Figure - Tri-bar downtube and upper tri-bar assembly with securing bolt only attached to the upper assembly.


Flight Recorders

As previously discussed, the airplane was equipped with a GoPro HERO 5 digital camera, which was mounted on the tail structure facing forward. The camera was sent to the NTSB Recorders Division for data extraction. The camera recorded the entire flight, with a field of view that included the engine, propeller, inboard sections of both wings (including the ailerons), the rudder cables, both seats, and a view of the pilot from behind.

In addition to the accident flight, the camera contained multiple recordings taken during the days immediately preceding the accident, of the pilot performing taxi tests on the runway. In each recording he was unable to consistently keep the airplane tracking the runway centerline, and, in one recording, the airplane departed the paved surface of the runway altogether.

The recordings showed that the airplane was not equipped with a windshield, and, although the pilot was wearing a helmet that was equipped with a face shield, the shield was unused and in the up position throughout most of the taxi runs, and all of the accident flight.

Medical And Pathological Information

According to the autopsy performed at the request of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Coroner Division, San Bernardino, California. The pilot's cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries, and the manner of death was accident. The pilot weighed 238 pounds and was 73 inches tall. According to the autopsy report, his heart was significantly enlarged and thickened, and weighed 615 grams; the expected weight was 345 +/- 40 grams. In addition, the right ventricle was 0.3-cm thick and both the lateral left ventricular wall and interventricular septum were 2.0-cm thick. No other cardiac abnormalities were noted.

At the request of the coroner, toxicology testing was performed by NMS Labs of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, on femoral blood. The testing identified the following:

38 mg/dL ethanol (0.038 g/100mL blood alcohol concentration)
Caffeine
37 ng/mL nordiazepam
74 ng/mL hydrocodone
7.7 ng/mL dihydrocodeine
3.5 ng/mL tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
5.4 ng/mL tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH)
1200 ng/mL methamphetamine
210 ng/mL amphetamine

Specimens were also tested by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results were as follows:

43 mg/dL ethanol detected in urine
20 mg/dL ethanol detected in cavity blood
147.69 ug/mL acetaminophen detected in urine
1.128 ug/mL amphetamine detected in cavity blood
5.599 ug/mL amphetamine detected in urine
7.406 ug/mL methamphetamine detected in cavity blood
43.948 ug/mL methamphetamine detected in urine
Carvedilol detected in cavity blood
Carvedilol detected in urine
Dihydrocodeine detected in cavity blood
0.492 ug/mL dihydrocodeine detected in urine
0.154 ug/mL hydrocodone detected in cavity blood
3.189 ug/mL hydrocodone detected in urine
Hydromorphone NOT detected in cavity blood
0.214 ug/mL hydromorphone detected in urine
Gabapentin detected in cavity blood
Gabapentin detected in urine
Naproxen detected in urine
0.016 ug/g nordiazepam detected in urine
0.048 ug/mL nordiazepam detected in cavity blood
0.044 ug/mL oxazepam detected in urine
Oxazepam NOT detected in cavity blood
0.004 ug/mL THC detected in cavity blood
0.0103 ug/mL THC detected in liver
0.0071 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in cavity blood
0.0514 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in liver
0.3053 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in urine

Nordiazepam and oxazepam are psychoactive metabolites of diazepam, a sedating benzodiazepine identified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Diazepam is commonly marketed with the name Valium and used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders, and muscle cramping. Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic available as a Schedule II controlled substance, commonly marketed in combination with acetaminophen with the names Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin. Dihydrocodeine and hydromorphone are active metabolites of hydrocodone. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, and THC-COOH is its inactive metabolite. Methamphetamine is a sympathomimetic available by prescription as a Schedule II controlled substance and is a widely used drug of abuse. Therapeutic levels for medicinal purposes range from 0.01 to 0.05 ug/ml. Amphetamine is an active metabolite of methamphetamine. Carvedilol is a blood pressure medication commonly marketed with the name Coreg. Gabapentin is an antiseizure medication commonly marketed with the name Neurontin that is also used to treat chronic nerve pain. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory analgesic available over the counter and commonly sold with the names Aleve and Naprosyn. All these substances, with the exception of carvedilol and naproxen, are potentially impairing.

Methamphetamine, hydrocodone, gabapentin, and most benzodiazepines are disqualifying for FAA aeromedical certification. Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit any person from acting as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 40 mg/dl or more alcohol in the blood, and marijuana, due to its psychoactive effects, may adversely affect the pilot's faculties.

Follow Up Examination

A follow up examination of the engine and airframe was performed following recovery of the airplane from the accident site.

A series of minor discrepancies, including inadequately tightened nuts and loose hardware, was noted. Additionally, the left wingtip displayed evidence of repair, presumably from the earlier event during the first test flight. A complete examination report is contained within the public docket for this accident.

A witness to the first test flight event stated that the left side tail brace tube, which connected the wing trailing edge to the tail structure, was damaged during that event. He stated that he later observed the pilot "working" the tube and trying to straighten it out. Review of the accident video revealed that the tube had not been replaced and was still bent at the time of the accident flight.



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.
Robert Alexander



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


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


Location: Hesperia, CA
Accident Number: WPR17FA074
Date & Time: 03/07/2017, 1018 PST
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Aircraft: QUICKSILVER MXL II
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aircraft structural failure
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 91: General Aviation - Flight Test 

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 pilot, who was operating with an expired student pilot certificate, sustained fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was operated by the pilot/builder as a test flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to friends of the pilot, the pilot had been performing multiple high-speed taxi tests in the airplane since its completion about 2 months before the accident. He reported to his friends that, during those tests, the airplane had been pulling to the left. About 1 month before the accident, he performed the first flight test; however, shortly after getting airborne, the airplane rolled left, departed the runway area, struck a hangar, and sustained substantial damage. The pilot then spent the next month repairing the damage and performing more high-speed taxi tests.

On the day of the accident, a witness observed the pilot taxiing the airplane back and forth along the runway, before initiating a takeoff roll from runway 3. After rotation, the airplane climbed to about 50 ft above ground level (agl) while drifting to the left of the runway centerline. It continued in a shallow climbing left turn, and, after reaching about 100 ft agl, it transitioned to a 90° left roll. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the airplane rolled inverted into the ground.

Video imagery recovered from a GoPro HERO 5 digital camera onboard the airplane revealed that, after starting the engine, the pilot performed a high-speed taxi along the full length of runway 21, lasting about 80 seconds. During that time, the airplane veered left and right, completely crossing the centerline eight times. After reaching the end of the runway, the pilot turned the airplane around and then increased engine power, and the airplane began to accelerate down runway 3. About 15 seconds later, the right wheel began to lift off the runway, followed a few seconds later by the left wheel. The airplane began a level climb over the centerline for the next 4 seconds, after which it began to bank to the left. The pilot moved the control stick to the right, and the ailerons responded by moving in the correct direction (right up, left down), and the right rudder cable went taught, consistent with an application of right rudder pedal. The airplane continued to bank to the left, as the nose started to pitch up. The left bank continued to increase, and the pilot moved the stick farther to the right. A few seconds later, the angle of bank reached about 45°, and the airplane's heading was now perpendicular to the runway. The nose of the airplane then dropped, and the airplane transitioned into a spiral, striking the ground in a nose-down attitude after about 3/4 of a turn. The engine was operating throughout the flight.

The video footage revealed that the pilot had exclusive use of the runway during the takeoff and taxi runs, and there were no other aircraft in the traffic pattern. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/20/1983
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 100 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0.1 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the pilot was awarded medical certificates in 1979 and 1983, and both were marked, "valid for student pilot purposes only." At the time of those examinations, he had no useful vision in his left eye, and he failed the color vision test in 1979 but passed it in 1983. The pilot's partner reported that he was blind in his left eye at the time of the accident.

Acquaintances of the pilot stated that he had flown ultralight aircraft for an extended period but that he did not keep records documenting such experience. The pilot's partner stated that, although the pilot had experience flying ultralight aircraft, he had not flown recently and was considering formally attaining his private pilot certificate. She offered to help him with the process, and he reported that he would pursue it once the airplane was completed and flying. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: QUICKSILVER
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Model/Series: MXL II
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate:
Serial Number: NONE
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 725 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT:  Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 65 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The two-seat, high-wing airplane had a primary structure that consisted of fabric-covered metal tubing braced with flying wires. It was powered by a Rotax 582-series engine, serial number 9618333, mounted in a "pusher" configuration. No maintenance records were recovered.

The pilot's partner stated that, while building the airplane, the pilot had found the construction manual confusing and frustrating, and he had asked a friend to assist with some of the construction tasks. She stated that he planned to register the airplane with the FAA once it was finished and flying. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVCV, 2885 ft msl
Observation Time: 1815 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 346°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -5°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 30°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hesperia, CA (L26)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hesperia, CA (L26)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1017 PST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: HESPERIA (L26)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3390 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3910 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  34.375278, -117.318889

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 gasoline was present throughout the site.

The primary load carrying structure of the airplane was composed of an aluminum "root tube" to which the engine, wings, king-post, and lower trike assembly were attached. The trike assembly supported the pilot and passenger seats, along with the landing gear and cockpit controls. The trike assembly included the axle and axle struts and a series of steel cross- and down-tubes 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 intended 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 not fully inserted into the upper tube; it was 1 1/4 inch short of full insertion, such that the securing bolt only passed through the holes in the upper tube and was resting against the upper end of the lower tube rather than interlocking the upper and lower tubes (see figure). The mating surfaces of the tubes exhibited rust-colored corrosion and longitudinal striations consistent with movement, and the upper end of the lower tube displayed dimple marks where it had been resting against the bolt shank on the upper tube. The entire interlocking assembly was wrapped with insulating foam and could not readily be observed by the pilot.


Figure - Tri-bar downtube and upper tri-bar assembly with securing bolt only attached to the upper assembly.


Flight Recorders

As previously discussed, the airplane was equipped with a GoPro HERO 5 digital camera, which was mounted on the tail structure facing forward. The camera was sent to the NTSB Recorders Division for data extraction. The camera recorded the entire flight, with a field of view that included the engine, propeller, inboard sections of both wings (including the ailerons), the rudder cables, both seats, and a view of the pilot from behind.

In addition to the accident flight, the camera contained multiple recordings taken during the days immediately preceding the accident, of the pilot performing taxi tests on the runway. In each recording he was unable to consistently keep the airplane tracking the runway centerline, and, in one recording, the airplane departed the paved surface of the runway altogether.

The recordings showed that the airplane was not equipped with a windshield, and, although the pilot was wearing a helmet that was equipped with a face shield, the shield was unused and in the up position throughout most of the taxi runs, and all of the accident flight.

Medical And Pathological Information

According to the autopsy performed at the request of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Coroner Division, San Bernardino, California. The pilot's cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries, and the manner of death was accident. The pilot weighed 238 pounds and was 73 inches tall. According to the autopsy report, his heart was significantly enlarged and thickened, and weighed 615 grams; the expected weight was 345 +/- 40 grams. In addition, the right ventricle was 0.3-cm thick and both the lateral left ventricular wall and interventricular septum were 2.0-cm thick. No other cardiac abnormalities were noted.

At the request of the coroner, toxicology testing was performed by NMS Labs of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, on femoral blood. The testing identified the following:

38 mg/dL ethanol (0.038 g/100mL blood alcohol concentration)
Caffeine
37 ng/mL nordiazepam
74 ng/mL hydrocodone
7.7 ng/mL dihydrocodeine
3.5 ng/mL tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
5.4 ng/mL tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC-COOH)
1200 ng/mL methamphetamine
210 ng/mL amphetamine

Specimens were also tested by the FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The results were as follows:

43 mg/dL ethanol detected in urine
20 mg/dL ethanol detected in cavity blood
147.69 ug/mL acetaminophen detected in urine
1.128 ug/mL amphetamine detected in cavity blood
5.599 ug/mL amphetamine detected in urine
7.406 ug/mL methamphetamine detected in cavity blood
43.948 ug/mL methamphetamine detected in urine
Carvedilol detected in cavity blood
Carvedilol detected in urine
Dihydrocodeine detected in cavity blood
0.492 ug/mL dihydrocodeine detected in urine
0.154 ug/mL hydrocodone detected in cavity blood
3.189 ug/mL hydrocodone detected in urine
Hydromorphone NOT detected in cavity blood
0.214 ug/mL hydromorphone detected in urine
Gabapentin detected in cavity blood
Gabapentin detected in urine
Naproxen detected in urine
0.016 ug/g nordiazepam detected in urine
0.048 ug/mL nordiazepam detected in cavity blood
0.044 ug/mL oxazepam detected in urine
Oxazepam NOT detected in cavity blood
0.004 ug/mL THC detected in cavity blood
0.0103 ug/mL THC detected in liver
0.0071 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in cavity blood
0.0514 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in liver
0.3053 ug/mL THC-COOH detected in urine

Nordiazepam and oxazepam are psychoactive metabolites of diazepam, a sedating benzodiazepine identified by the Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule IV controlled substance. Diazepam is commonly marketed with the name Valium and used to treat anxiety, seizure disorders, and muscle cramping. Hydrocodone is an opioid analgesic available as a Schedule II controlled substance, commonly marketed in combination with acetaminophen with the names Lortab, Norco, and Vicodin. Dihydrocodeine and hydromorphone are active metabolites of hydrocodone. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, and THC-COOH is its inactive metabolite. Methamphetamine is a sympathomimetic available by prescription as a Schedule II controlled substance and is a widely used drug of abuse. Therapeutic levels for medicinal purposes range from 0.01 to 0.05 ug/ml. Amphetamine is an active metabolite of methamphetamine. Carvedilol is a blood pressure medication commonly marketed with the name Coreg. Gabapentin is an antiseizure medication commonly marketed with the name Neurontin that is also used to treat chronic nerve pain. Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory analgesic available over the counter and commonly sold with the names Aleve and Naprosyn. All these substances, with the exception of carvedilol and naproxen, are potentially impairing.

Methamphetamine, hydrocodone, gabapentin, and most benzodiazepines are disqualifying for FAA aeromedical certification. Federal Aviation Regulations prohibit any person from acting as a crewmember of a civil aircraft while having 40 mg/dl or more alcohol in the blood, and marijuana, due to its psychoactive effects, may adversely affect the pilot's faculties.

Follow Up Examination

A follow up examination of the engine and airframe was performed following recovery of the airplane from the accident site.

A series of minor discrepancies, including inadequately tightened nuts and loose hardware, was noted. Additionally, the left wingtip displayed evidence of repair, presumably from the earlier event during the first test flight. A complete examination report is contained within the public docket for this accident.


A witness to the first test flight event stated that the left side tail brace tube, which connected the wing trailing edge to the tail structure, was damaged during that event. He stated that he later observed the pilot "working" the tube and trying to straighten it out. Review of the accident video revealed that the tube had not been replaced and was still bent at the time of the accident flight.

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.






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