Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Lost of Control in Flight: Denney Kitfox Model 1, N375KF, fatal accident occurred June 04, 2018 near Blue Skies Farm Airport (OR87), Salem, Marion County, Oregon

Norman Newton, 40, of Salem, 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 Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

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


Location: Salem, OR
Accident Number: ANC18FA041
Date & Time: 06/03/2018, 1815 PDT
Registration: N375KF 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation  

On June 3, 2018, about 1815 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built, Kitfox Model 1, light sport airplane, N375KF, sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees and terrain near Blue Skies Airport (OR87), Salem, Oregon. The student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to the student who was operating the airplane as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed near the accident site, 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, he saw the student on June 1 at OR87 with the accident airplane. The student had recently installed new suspension on the airplane and he completed one to two taxi tests before loading the airplane on his trailer to adjust the pressure in the struts. The student returned two days later and conducted numerous taxi tests. A few hours later, the witness noticed that the student's vehicle and trailer were still parked at the airport but that the airplane was not there. 

A friend of the student reported that, when he had not heard from the student the next day and found out his vehicle was still at the airport, he became concerned because he knew the student was not certificated or authorized to fly the accident airplane solo. Subsequently, he conducted an aerial search in his aircraft and located the airplane's wreckage about 100 yards west of the OR87 runway, with a portion of the airplane submerged in a small creek. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/22/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 32 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

The student held a student pilot certificate. The student's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class airman medical certificate was issued on March 22, 2018, with no limitations. At that time, he reported that he had accumulated 4 total hours of flight experience.

The student's flight instructor estimated that the student had accumulated about 35 total hours of flight experience, almost all of which was in a Piper Cherokee 140 airplane. He reported that he did not think that the student had previously flown a Kitfox airplane and that the student did not have tailwheel or solo endorsements for that airplane.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MASON HAL J
Registration: N375KF
Model/Series: KITFOX MODEL 1
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental Light Sport
Serial Number: 88
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: HKS
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 700E
Registered Owner: Norman Newton
Rated Power: 60 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

The two-seat, amateur built high-wing, tailwheel-equipped airplane was manufactured in 2011. It was powered by an HKS 700E series engine. No airplane maintenance records were located during the investigation. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSLE, 201 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0056 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 222°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:/ None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Salem, OR (OR87)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

The closest weather reporting facility was at Salem Airport, Salem, Oregon, about 5 miles southwest of the accident site. At 1756, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 280° at 5 knots; visibility, 10 statute miles; few clouds at 5,000 ft, 7,000 ft scattered, 10,000 ft broken; temperature 64°F; dew point 46°F; and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 200 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 19
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1345 ft / 45 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Unknown

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 

Broken limbs about 30 ft below the top of a 100-ft-tall tree were indicative of the airplane's initial impact; The tree was on the edge of a wooded area about 100 yards west of the OR87 runway. The right wing and propeller were submerged in a creek. The fuselage exhibited accordion-style crushing damage, consistent with a near-vertical impact. 

The left wing fractured near the rear spar attachment point with the inboard section rotated aft. The wing was also fractured about midspan, and the outboard portion and wingtip were rotated about another 180° forward such that the tip was in line with the longitudinal axis of the airplane. The right wing fractured about 3 ft outboard of the fuselage attachment point and was rotated about 30° forward. Due to impact damage, control continuity could not be established to the ailerons. 

The left and right horizontal stabilizers, elevators, vertical stabilizer, and rudder remained attached to their respective attachment points and were relatively undamaged. Control continuity was established from the elevator to the control stick and from the rudder to the control pedals in the cockpit.

The two spark plugs were removed from the engine and no anomalies were noted. The engine was rotated by hand and turned freely with no binding or abnormal noise. Thumb compression was achieved on both cylinders.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. 

Medical And Pathological Information

An autopsy of the student was performed by the Marion County Medical Examiner's Office, Salem, Oregon. The cause of death was determined to be "blunt force trauma."

Toxicology testing performed by the FAA Forensic Sciences Laboratory of specimens from the student detected salicylate (a metabolite of aspirin), ibuprofen, pheniramine, and fexofenadine in urine but not in blood.

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter analgesic. Neither it nor aspirin are considered impairing. Pheniramine is an antihistamine with much less sedative effects than other antihistamines and is most commonly found in over-the-counter eyedrops used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. Fexofenadine is a nonsedating, over-the-counter antihistamine.

1 comment:

  1. smh...what a sad deal when someone does something 100% preventable and with predictable results.