Sunday, March 25, 2018

SkyStar Kitfox Series 5, N956ML: Fatal accident occurred June 03, 2017 at Heritage Airpark (TE86), New Berlin, Guadalupe County, Texas

Michael S. "Mike" Logan 
September 18, 1956 - June 03, 2017

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket- National Transportation Safety Board:

Michael S. Logan:

National Transportation Safety Board - Aviation Accident Factual Report

Location: New Berlin, TX
Accident Number: CEN17FA208
Date & Time: 06/03/2017, 1630 CDT
Registration: N956ML
Aircraft: Michael S. Logan Kitfox
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 3, 2017, about 1630 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built SkyStar Kitfox Series 5 airplane, N956ML, impacted terrain next to Heritage Airpark (TE86), New Berlin, Texas. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was privately owned and operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site and no flight plan had been filed. The local personal flight was originating from TE86 at the time of the accident.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the pilot's wife said her husband was going to practice touch-and-go takeoffs and landings. A witness saw the airplane taxiing for takeoff but did not see the impact. The witness said he heard a "pop" and observed smoke. The witness said he did not know if the "pop" was an engine backfire or the sound of impact. There were other no witnesses to the accident.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/20/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/09/2014
Flight Time:  1138 hours (Total, all aircraft), 211 hours (Total, this make and model), 1062 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single and multiengine land and multiengine sea ratings. He held an FAA third-class airman medical certificate, dated January 20, 2016, with no restrictions or limitations. The pilot's logbook was reviewed by FAA inspectors and contained entries from November 26, 2014, to June 9, 2015. According to the logbook, the pilot had 1,138 total hours of flight experience, of which 211 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

His most recent last flight review was completed November 9, 2014. On January 28, 2017, the pilot completed the ground portion of a flight review, but the flight portion was not documented.

According to FAA medical and insurance company records, the pilot estimated he had logged 1,155 total flight hours, 235 hours in the Kitfox, and 10 hours in the previous six months.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Michael S. Logan
Registration: N956ML
Model/Series: Kitfox Series 5
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: S9407-0038
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/23/2005, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:  Subaru NSI RAM Performance
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: SHO EA81
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 120 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

The airplane, serial number 59407-0038, was built by the pilot from a kit, and was issued a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category on March 15, 2000.

In February 2008, the pilot installed a a Subaru EA-81 NSI RAM performance engine, serial number 244159, rated at 120 horsepower.

The last condition inspection of the airframe and engine was on April 23, 2005. No times were listed. Other than two entries both dated May 25, 2005, no other entries were entered in the engine logbook. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRND
Observation Time: 1458 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4800 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 20°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 20000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 220°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: New Berlin, TX (TE86)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Berlin, TX (TE86)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1630 CDT
Type of Airspace:  Class G 

Weather observed at 1658 at Randolph Air Force Base (KRND), Universal City, Texas, located 9 miles northwest of the accident site, indicated the wind was from 190° at 6 knots, visibility was 10 miles, there were a few clouds at 20,000 feet, the temperature was 32°C., the dew point was 20°C., and the altimeter setting was 29.84 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Airport: Heritage Airpark (TE86)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 555 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3100 ft / 70 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  26.439444, -98.110000 (est) 

FAA inspectors examined the wreckage. They noted that the surrounding terrain consisted of flat farmland and grassland, and was suitable for a forced landing.

All the wreckage was confined to within a 15-foot radius and the ground fire extended within a 20-foot radius from the point of impact. The engine was skewed to the right, the left wing was trailing, the right wing was leading, and the empennage was angled to the right when viewed from the rear of the airplane. Although post-impact fire consumed the airplane, inspectors were able to establish flight control continuity.

The engine was inverted but remained attached to the airframe. Drive train continuity (propeller hub and gear box rotation) was established. Two of the three propeller blades and other cowling debris were located within 10 to 15 feet of the main body of wreckage. The propeller blades and spinner did not exhibit evidence of rotation. The leading edges and blade tips were undamaged. The third blade was not located.

According to the pilot's wife the pilot had been having ignition issues with the airplane. She thought the problem had been resolved. She described the problem as the engine missing or quitting entirely during high-powered run-ups. She suggested that the inspectors contact a local pilot who had the same aircraft type and engine combination.

The pilot stated that the accident pilot had contacted him about his airplane's ignition problems, but later indicated that he had found a solution; he never said what the solution was; no entries were made in the engine logbook. He said he was aware the pilot had converted the engine and had installed a dual ignition.

Damage from the post-impact fire precluded a thorough examination of the engine ignition system. 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office Austin, Texas. According to the report, the pilot's death was "the result of conflagration and blunt force injuries."

FAA's Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed a toxicological screen that revealed no evidence of carbon monoxide in blood, and no evidence of ethanol or drugs in urine. Cyanide tests were not performed. A toxicology screen performed by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office yielded similar results.

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA208
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 03, 2017 in New Berlin, TX
Aircraft: Michael S. Logan Kitfox, registration: N956ML
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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 3, 2017, about 1435 central daylight time, a SkyStar Kitfox Series 5 amateur-built airplane, N956ML, impacted terrain at Heritage Airpark (TE86), New Berlin, Texas. The private pilot, the sole person on board was fatally injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The flight was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, and no flight plan had been filed. Day visual meteorological conditions existed near the accident site about the time of the accident. The local flight originated from TE86, about 1400.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the pilot's wife said her husband was going to practice touch-and-go landings. There were no witnesses to the accident. The inspectors said all of the wreckage was within a 15-foot radius of the point of impact, and there were ground signatures consistent with the airplane spinning on impact. There was fire after impact that consumed much of the airplane. Flight control continuity was established.

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