Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Rutan VariEze, N112EZ: Accident occurred July 08, 2019 in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration; Des Plaines, Illinois

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; DuPage, Illinois


Location: Kaneville, IL
Accident Number: CEN19LA216
Date & Time: 07/08/2019, 1600 CDT
Registration: N112EZ
Aircraft: Rutan VARIEZE
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 8, 2019, at 1600 central daylight time, a Knight-Wilcox Varieze experimental airplane, N112EZ, made a forced landing to an interstate and collided with a vehicle near Kaneville, Illinois. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The vehicle occupant was uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions near the accident site and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had not been filed. The flight departed Waukegan National Airport (UGN), Waukegan, Illinois, at 1537, and was en route to Aurora Municipal Airport (ARR), Aurora, Illinois.

After the accident the pilot stated that he was descending toward the destination airport and contacted the ARR air traffic control (ATC) tower. The controller advised the pilot that the ARR airspace was operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) due to low visibility and haze. The pilot remained north of the ARR airspace and requested a special VFR clearance, which was denied by ATC due to an inbound IFR flight. While holding outside of ARR airspace with a reduced power setting, the pilot stated that he reduced the mixture control about one inch of travel and the engine experienced a total loss of power; also, the propeller completely stopped rotating. While about 1,600 ft above ground level (agl), the pilot initiated a steep dive to increase airspeed and allow the propeller to rotate and the engine to restart. During the maneuver the propeller would not rotate so he pulled out of the dive about 300 ft agl and determined the interstate was the best place for a forced landing. After aligning with the west bound lane, he glided the airplane over several cars and maneuvered for an opening in the traffic where he could land the airplane. During the forced landing the right wing contacted a pickup truck in the far right lane and the pilot was unable to maintain directional control of the airplane. The airplane rotated 360° and came to rest in the grass median – see figure 1.

Figure 1 – Airplane in grass median 
(Courtesy of Chicago WGN9)

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane was moved to a local hangar where an engine functional test was conducted. The functional test was successful and no engine anomalies were noted. The test was unable to determine why the propeller would not rotate during the steep dive.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Rutan
Registration: N112EZ
Model/Series: VARIEZE No Series
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: 
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time: 1552 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:  30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chicago/Waukegan, IL (UGN)
Destination: Chicago/Aurora, IL (ARR) 

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: 41.868611, -88.579722

A small plane crashed on the Reagan Memorial Tollway near Kaneville and clipped a truck during its landing Monday, police said.

The small, fixed-wing plane was en route from Waukegan to Aurora when the pilot reported engine trouble, according to a news release from Illinois State Police. The pilot attempted an emergency landing in the westbound lanes of the tollway near Watson Road about 4 p.m., police said.

While the plane was landing, it clipped a gray GMC Canyon before it landed in the grass median, police said.

The pilot was taken by the Kaneville Fire Department to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The driver of the truck wasn't injured, and the vehicle sustained minor damage.

One lane of traffic was blocked as a result of the crash.

The crash investigation continues. Police said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.dailyherald.com

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