Monday, June 4, 2018

Denney Kitfox Model 1, N375KF: Fatal accident occurred June 04, 2018 near Blue Skies Farm Airport (OR87), Salem, Marion County, Oregon

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Salem, OR
Accident Number: ANC18FA041
Date & Time: 06/03/2018, 1815 PDT
Registration: N375KF
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - 

On June 3, 2018, about 1815 Pacific daylight time, a Mason Hal J KitFox Model 1, experimental light sport airplane, N375KF, sustained substantial damage during an impact with trees and terrain near Blue Skies Airport (OR87), Salem, Oregon. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules flight when the accident occurred. The student pilot, the only occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The last time the airplane had been seen was about 1800 when taxi operations were being conducted.

According to a witness, the pilot had just completed maintenance on the landing gear suspension and stated that he was going to taxi the airplane along the runway to test the pressure in the main landing gear struts. He witnessed the airplane make several trips along the runway. A few hours later, he saw the pilot's vehicle and trailer still parked at the airport, but the airplane was not there. The previous instances where the witness interacted with the accident pilot, he said the accident airplane had always been trailered to and from the airport and he did not see the accident pilot operate the airplane for anything other than taxi operations.

When a friend of the pilot had not heard from him the next day and found out the pilot's vehicle was still at the airport, he became concerned since he knew the pilot was not certificated or authorized to fly the accident airplane solo. He then conducted an aerial search in his own airplane and located the wreckage of the missing airplane on the edge of a wooded area about 100 yards from the OR87 runway, with a portion of the airplane submerged in a small creek. The airplane impacted about 30 feet below the top of an estimated 100ft-tall Fir tree before descending steeply into terrain and coming to rest inverted with the right wing and propeller submerged, resulting in substantial damage.

The accident pilot's flight instructor estimated the accident pilot had accumulated about 35 total flight hours, almost all in a Piper Cherokee 140. To his knowledge, the accident pilot had not flown the Kit Fox before and did not have a tailwheel endorsement or solo endorsement for that aircraft. He said it was possible the accident pilot received endorsements while he was out of town the week prior to the accident but he had not spoken to the pilot since returning to the area.

The airplane was equipped with a legacy, 121.5 MHz ELT, and not a digital 406 MHz ELT that instantly transmits a distress signal to search and rescue satellites, thereby alerting rescue personnel within minutes of the location of the crash site. As of February 1, 2009, analog, 121.5 MHz ELT's stopped being monitored by search and rescue satellites, and the installation of the 406 MHz has been voluntary.

The aircraft was equipped with an HKS-700 series engine. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: MASON HAL J
Registration: N375KF
Model/Series: KITFOX MODEL 1 I
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSLE, 201 ft msl
Observation Time: 0056 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 280°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Salem, OR (OR87)

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: 44.966667, -122.923333

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

SALEM, Ore. – The Marion County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot who died in a plane crash this week.

Investigators say Norman Newton, 40, of Salem, was the only person killed in the crash.

Norman was flying his Kitfox Model fixed-wing airplane when for unknown reasons it crashed. The sheriff’s office says he was killed instantly.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

After talking with first responders, investigators believe Newton crashed Sunday. Another pilot flying overhead Monday spotted the downed plane in a stand of trees not far from Blue Skies Farm Airport, a small, grass landing strip off Lardon Road NE.

Reports of an aircraft emergency came in just before 4 p.m. Monday.

The NTSB says an investigator will look for the plane's "black-box" - if it is equipped with one - to determine what led up to the crash.

According to the manufacturer, the majority of its planes are built by their owners. Kitfox says its planes have an outstanding safety record.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Newton was learning to fly. Records show he was issued a student pilot license in March 2018.

"He was just started getting his license," Victoria Richards told KATU. "He was just practicing and he had put in so many hours out there to fly, so he could take other people."

Pilots with student licenses are not allowed to fly with anyone else on board, with the exceptions of an instructor.

"That was one of his things," Richards said, "he really wanted to take his kids."

Newton was a father of two young boys. He owns The Night Deposit Whiskey Library in Downtown Salem, among other businesses.

Richards worked at his bar. She got to know him well over the past few years.

"He was funny," she said. "He was hard-headed. Whatever he said, went. He stuck with his word."

According to the FAA, there were 209 fatal General Aviation crashes in 2017, leading to 347 deaths. The leading causes of fatal crashes are loss of control inflight, flying into terrain or power failure.

"He will never be forgotten," Richards said. "It’s shocking that he is gone."

A detective will remain on the scene with federal investigators as a liaison.

The NTSB expects to release its preliminary findings within 7 to 10 days of the crash.

Story and video ➤

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A pilot was killed in Salem on Monday after crashing into a ravine.

The plane crashed at 3:56 p.m. near Blue Skies Farm Airport, which falls on Northeast Lardon Road between Cordon Road and Northeast Howell Prairie Road.

The pilot was the only occupant, deputies said.

Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the FAA, said the plane was a Kitfox airplane.

The FAA and the National Traffic Safety Board is investigating. They're expected to be on scene for hours. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Marion County Sheriff's Office at 503.588.5032. 

Story and video ➤

SALEM, Ore. – A pilot died in an airplane crash outside Salem, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Reports came in just before 4 p.m. of an aircraft emergency along Lardon Road NE in Marion County, near the Little Pudding River. Authorities say there is a small, private runway nearby.

Initial reports state that the sole person onboard the fixed-wing airplane, presumed to be the pilot, died in the crash.

Deputies are working with the Federal Aviation Administration to find out what led up to the crash.

Blue Skies Farm Airport is nearby, but at this point there is no word on whether the pilot took off from there, was heading there, or just happened to encounter some trouble in the area.

If you have any helpful information, authorities want you to call (503) 588-5032.

Story and video ➤

No comments: