Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Kitfox IV-1200, N125TY: Accident occurred July 31, 2018 in Loma, Mesa County, Colorado

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Loma, CO
Accident Number: CEN18LA303
Date & Time: 07/31/2018, 1130 MDT
Registration: N125TY
Aircraft: BUCHANAN Kitfox IV
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 31, 2018, about 1130 mountain daylight time, a Buchanan Kitfox IV experimental airplane, N125TY, impacted a wire while maneuvering at low altitude over a river near Loma, Colorado. The private pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and the flight was operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The airplane departed the Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), Grand Junction, Colorado, and was destined for Cedar City, Utah.

According to the pilot, he departed GJT and elected to fly at low altitude over the Colorado River. After over passing a group of river rafters about 500 ft above ground level, the pilot "dropped [the airplane] low to the river." Shortly after descending, the airplane's empennage struck a wire that crossed over the river. The pilot lost control of the airplane, and the airplane impacted the side of the river canyon. The airplane came to rest partially submerged in the river, and the pilot was rescued by passing river rafters. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BUCHANAN
Registration: N125TY
Model/Series: Kitfox IV
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:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:  27°C / -1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  20 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Grand Junction, CO (GJT)
Destination: Cedar City, UT (CDC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  39.135278, -109.025556 (est)

UPDATE: The pilot of the plane that crashed in the Colorado River near the Utah Colorado border was transported via helicopter to the hospital. 

The 59-year-old solo pilot is conscious and breathing. 

Rafters saw the plane and helped get the pilot to the nearest boat ramp (Westwater, Utah) where emergency crews were waiting. 

Deputies took a boat up river and helped secure the Kitfox aircraft at the crash site. 

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has notified the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.

-Mesa County Sheriff's Office

Mesa County Deputies, Mesa County Search and Rescue and Lower Valley Fire Protection District are responding to a report of a small plane crash in the Colorado River near the Colorado Utah border. 

Preliminary reports indicate the 59-year-old solo pilot is conscious and breathing but does have some injuries. 

They are being helped to safety by a passerby who was rafting in the Colorado River. 

The plane is believed to be a Kitfox aircraft and is reportedly partially submerged in the river.

-Mesa County Sheriff's Office

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