Friday, August 02, 2019

Quicksilver MXII, N3889Z: Fatal accident occurred July 13, 2019 near Oliver Springs Inc. Airport (TN08), Anderson County, Tennessee

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Nashville, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Oliver Springs, TN
Accident Number: ERA19FA225
Date & Time: 07/13/2019, 1718 EDT
Registration: N3889Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 13, 2019, at 1718 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Quicksilver MXII, N3889Z was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Oliver Springs Inc Airport (TN08), Oliver Springs, Tennessee. The non-certificated pilot, who was also the owner of the airplane was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A witness observed the pilot perform an engine runup, taxi, then takeoff from runway 33. After takeoff, the airplane appeared to "crab into the wind." It then started turning right towards the trees bordering the east side of the airport, and he also noted that the wings were rocking. The airplane climbed over the trees then turned left and descended out of view. He then heard the airplane impact the terrain.

Another witness stated that the pilot purchased the airplane several weeks prior to the accident. He believed that pilot had flown the airplane "once or twice" before the accident flight. In addition, he further stated that he was surprised that the pilot elected to fly at the time of the accident because the air was becoming unstable and breezy.

Mobile phone video was reviewed at the site and it showed two individuals taxiing in the accident airplane toward the camera. The video was dated July 7, 2019. After the airplane came to a stop, the individual in the right seat was asked "what do you think about that?" and he responded "It still…pulls hard to the right."

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, the pilot did not possess an FAA-issued pilot or medical certificate.

According to FAA airworthiness and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental amateur built category on May 11, 1983. It was a two place, open cockpit, high-wing, airplane of aluminum tubular and fabric construction, powered by a Rotax 503, 50 horsepower engine that drove a 3-blade propeller in a pusher configuration.

The airplane collided with terrain at a steep nose down attitude on a heading of about 200° magnetic about 800 ft northeast of runway 33 on flat grassy terrain. The wreckage path was compact; all engine, structural components and flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene.

The 3-blade propeller remained attached to the flange and was intact except for several nicks and gouges on the leading edges of the blades. The engine remained attached to the fuselage keel beam (root assembly) and the propeller shaft remained attached to the propeller. The carburetor detached from the engine and was being held in place by the fuel lines. One of the fuel lines was torn and was leaking fuel. The 5-gallon fuel tank mounted on the fuselage keel beam forward of the engine was compromised and there was a strong smell of automobile fuel at the scene as well as browning of ground vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the wreckage site.

The empennage was in a vertical position off the ground. The elevator and rudder remained attached. The rudder trim was bent in a right 35° angle (left rudder deflection) and did not appear to be damaged. There was numerous bending of the fuselage tubes throughout the entire airframe. Both wings remained attached, the fabric covering the wings was torn in multiple locations, but the internal ribs and wing spars exhibited minor damage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit. The king-post and all structural cable assembly's remained attached to their respective locations. There was no post-accident fire.

Engine cylinder compression and powertrain continuity were established by rotating the propeller by hand 720°. The fuel filter container was clean and was about 1/2 full of fuel. When placed under pressure, fuel flowed smoothly from the fuel line into the carburetor. The carburetor was removed and disassembled. The carburetor gaskets were examined with no anomalies noted. The float assembly remained intact with no anomalies noted. The air filter was free of obstructions. The engine cylinder head was removed and revealed no anomalies. Two pistons appeared to be well lubricated, shiny with no damage or irregularity noted.

The Nos. 1 and 2 spark plugs were in "normal" condition when compared to the Champion Check A Plug Chart.

Oak Ridge Airport (OQT) Oak Ridge, Tennessee was located about 4 miles east of the accident site. The 1753 weather observation at OQT, included wind variable at 4 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 30° C, dew point 21° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.06 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: QUICKSILVER
Registration: N3889Z
Model/Series: MXII
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: OQT, 800 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Oliver Springs, TN (TN08)
Destination: Oliver Springs, TN (TN08)

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: 36.040556, -84.306111

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 

OLIVER SPRINGS, Tennessee (WATE) – The pilot killed in an experimental, amateur-built aircraft accident in Oliver Springs has been identified.

Patrick Scott Lucas, 45, from Morristown, Tennessee,  identified by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office as the pilot in the accident. Lucas was the only person on board.

The Quicksilver MXII aircraft accident happened on a private airstrip 100 yards from the Oliver Springs Airport, on Smith Road just before 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Law enforcement and medical personnel, including a medical examiner, arrived to the scene shortly after, according to Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

The Federal Aviation Administration investigation begins Sunday.

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