Sunday, November 24, 2019

Bushby Mustang II, N24GL: Fatal accident occurred November 24, 2019 at Peter Prince Field (2R4), Milton, Santa Rosa County, Florida

Lt. Col. Matthew Peter Platt
April 13, 1981 ~ November 24, 2019 (age 38)

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama 
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Milton, FL
Accident Number: ERA20FA043
Date & Time: 11/24/2019, 0940 CST
Registration: N24GL
Aircraft: Bushby BUSHBY MUSTANG M II
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 24, 2019, about 0940 central standard time, an experimental amateur-built Bushby Mustang II airplane, N24GL, sustained substantial damage on takeoff from the Peter Prince Airport (2R4), Milton, Florida. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

According to a witness, she and her husband were driving on airport property when she first saw the accident airplane turning left base to final for runway 36. The airplane landed and did a touch and go. The next thing she saw was the airplane descending straight down to the ground from a height of about 100 ft just past the north end of the runway. She yelled out to her husband and they immediately drove to where the airplane impacted the ground and called 911. She did not hear the airplane's engine prior to impact because the windows of the car were rolled up.

The witness's husband said he saw the airplane do a touch and go on runway 36 but turned away to focus on driving. The next thing he saw was the airplane descending straight down to the ground from a height of about 50 to 100 ft just north of the runway. He did not hear the engine because he was inside his car with the windows rolled up. The witness said he and his wife rushed to the airplane. When he arrived, he did not see any leaking fuel, but assisted first responders by turning the fuel selector from the "on" position to the "off" position because there was a strong odor of fuel.

A flight instructor was standing on the western edge of taxiway alpha when he first saw the accident airplane parked behind his student in the run-up area near the departure end of runway 36. He said the accident airplane stayed in the run-up area for quite a while. The instructor said his student had departed and he was very focused on watching him as he flew in the traffic pattern. The next time the instructor observed the accident airplane it was departing, but he was not sure if this was his initial takeoff or not. He said the airplane used almost the entire length of the runway. When it rotated, the airplane was "pitching up fairly aggressively" and he could see the entire top of the airplane. The instructor said the airplane stalled and entered a spin. The airplane spun to the left a quarter of a rotation "where the plane was completely vertical upon impact with the ground." The instructor said he did not recall anything about the sound of the airplane's engine because he was more focused on his student.

The airplane came to rest on its nose in the grassy area located off the departure end of runway 36 on a magnetic heading of about 133°. The tail section of the airplane was straight up in the air and there was no post-impact fire. All major flight controls were accounted for at the scene and the single flap was fully retracted.

About 6 ft forward of where the airplane came to rest was an approximate 3-foot-wide wide impact crater. Embedded inside the crater were pieces of engine cowling. Extending to the right of the crater was an approximate 12-foot-long ground scar. A section of the right-wing tip and green navigational lens were found at the outermost end of the scar. The canopy was found separated from the airframe and was resting to the left of the airplane. The forward section of the empennage was deformed, and the tail section was bent to the right. The leading edge of the right and left wings exhibited leading-edge impact damage. The tail section appeared undamaged.

Flight control continuity was established for the ailerons and rudder by movement of the flight controls. The elevator did not move when the flight controls were moved. Further examination revealed that that the elevator control tube was still attached to the flight controls but was fractured on the forward and aft end where it connected to a bell crank mid-cabin from impact.

The engine was pushed aft into the main fuel tank and instrument panel. The main fuel tank, the fuel lines from the fuel selector to the tank, and the firewall fuel strainer bowl were breached. Each auxiliary fuel tank (located in the wing root of each wing) appeared intact. No fuel was found in the right auxiliary tank and about a half-gallon of 100LL aviation gas was drained from the left auxiliary tank. The fuel was absent of debris and water.

The two-bladed propeller remained attached to the engine. One blade was bent aft at mid-span and exhibited leading edge polishing and chordwise scratching along the entire span of the blade. The other blade appeared undamaged. The propeller and crankshaft flange were removed to facilitate rotation of the engine, which was accomplished via the vacuum pump port. Compression and valve train continuity were established on all four cylinders. A lighted borescope was used to examine each cylinder and no anomalies were noted to the pistons and valves. The oil filler neck was found cracked but the dip stick remained in place inside the filler neck. The oil suction screen was removed and absent of debris.

The carburetor separated from the oil sump and only the carburetor mating flange remained attached to the sump. The carburetor was disassembled and about a tablespoon of clear and rust-colored fluid was observed in the bowl and the accelerator pump chamber. The fluid was tested for water using a water finding paste, and all tests were positive for water. A milky white fluid was found in the fuel inlet screen port and it also tested positive for water. The fuel inlet screen was removed from the carburetor and was absent of debris. The firewall fuel filter bowl was breached during impact, but its screen was in the wreckage. The screen was corroded with a white powdery residue.

The engine was equipped with dual electronic magnetos and eight automotive spark plugs. Both magnetos were secured to the engine with some minor impact damage. The No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 top spark plugs exhibited some impact damage. All spark plugs were removed and appeared new with no damaged electrodes. The magnetos were retained for further examination.

According to an airframe and powerplant mechanic, the pilot had reported a larger than normal RPM drop on the left magneto during an engine run just days before the accident. The mechanic said he removed, cleaned and rotated all eight sparkplugs. The pilot re-tested the engine and a larger than normal RPM drop was observed on the right magneto. The mechanic said that he and the pilot agreed there was an issue with the spark plugs, so the pilot went to a local automotive shop and purchased a new set of automotive spark plugs. The mechanic installed the new plugs the day before the accident, and the pilot performed another test run of the engine. According to the mechanic, the pilot said both magnetos tested normally, and he planned to take the airplane up for a test flight but would perform a long test-run of the engine before he departed. The mechanic did not know if the pilot did an engine test run that day but knew that the pilot did not fly due to a low overcast.

The pilot, who was an active duty flight officer in the United States Air Force, held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land. He also held a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine, as well as instrument airplane. His last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on September 10, 2015. A review of his logbook revealed he had logged a total of 91.4 civilian hours; of which, 26.8 hours were in the accident airplane. Of these 26.8 total hours in the accident airplane, about 8.5 hours were as pilot-in-command.

Weather reported at Whiting Naval Air Station South (NDZ), Milton, Florida, about 4 miles north of the accident site, at 0956, was reported as wind from 340° at 10 knots, visibility 10 miles and clear skies. The temperature was 12° C and a dewpoint of 6° C, with a barometric pressure setting of 30.04 inches of Hg.

The airplane was equipped with an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and engine information system (EIS). These units were retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bushby
Registration: N24GL
Model/Series: BUSHBY MUSTANG M II 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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: NDZ, 177 ft msl
Observation Time: 0956 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 10 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Milton, FL (2R4)
Destination: Milton, FL (2R4)

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: 30.637500, -86.993611 (est) 

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 

Honor Mission
Matthew Peter Platt, Active Duty
Morrisville, North Carolina

Patriots we have once again been call upon to Honor and escort a hero home. As LTC Matthew Peter Platt stood for us it will be our honor to stand and escort him and his family home.

Staging Time: 4:00 PM

1600 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, North Carolina 27560
Ride Captain:
Charles Bullock
(919) 906-3641
Asst: Steve Haven, (919) 793-7296

Special Instructions:
Stage : 4:00 pm
Briefing: 4:30 pm
Move to RDU and prepare for flag line and escort to Miller-Boles Funeral Home, 1150 Fire Tower Rd, Sanford NC 27330.
Flags will be provided.  If you have large bike flags, please bring them.
Water will be provided.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Florida (WEAR) — The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the pilot killed in a plane crash early Sunday morning.

Matthew P. Platt, 38, was killed in a crash at Peter Prince Field in Milton. The sheriff's office says Platt was a former resident of Navarre.

The cause of Sunday's deadly plane crash at Peter Prince Field in Milton is still under investigation.

Channel 3 spoke to an eyewitness of the crash. Darin Southard lives right down the road from the airport.

"I'm used to seeing planes take off all the time," Southard said. "The moment I saw it, I knew that it did not look natural."

Southard says he saw the plane take a straight ascent, then make a violent turn to the right.

"It went straight down," Southard said. "I told my wife, I think we just saw a plane crash."

A Florida Air Recovery team was on scene Monday afternoon removing the plane from the crash site.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the cause of the crash.

Story and video ➤

The pilot of the aircraft that crashed on November 24th at Peter Prince Airport has been identified as Matthew P. Platt of Navarre, Florida.

At this time, the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.


MILTON, Florida (WALA) -- The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene of a plane crash that occurred in Milton on November 24th.

According to Santa Rosa County Sheriff's officials, a Bushby Mustang II plane crashed at Peter Prince Airport near Milton.  

The crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Sunday.  

There was one fatality.  

The pilot, who was the only person in the plane, was pronounced dead at the scene.  

The pilot has not been identified.

Sheriff's officials said the National Transportation Safety Board will be assisting the Federal Aviation Administration in their investigation of this crash

Story and video ➤

The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office has identified the pilot who died in a crash at an airport in Milton on Sunday.

Matthew P. Platt, 38, formerly of Navarre, died around 10 a.m. Sunday when the small, single-engine aircraft that he piloted crashed at Peter Prince Field, according to SRSO spokesman Sgt. Rich Aloy.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash as of Monday afternoon. 

SRSO deputies were dispatched to Peter Prince Field, a public airport about three miles east of Milton on U.S. 90. at about 10:15 a.m. Sunday, and authorities determined the aircraft crashed on airport property, according to the SRSO. 

Platt was the sole occupant on the aircraft.

Story and video ➤


  1. N24GL

    Fixed wing single engine
    (2 seats / 1 engine)

  2. Video from the WEAR-TV local Pensacola station shows the aircraft stuck about 50 degrees nose down in the ground. It also show severe cockpit instrument damage when the aircraft was on the trailer, so it was a pretty violent impact. A quick check shows this aircraft has the capability of folding wings for airpark community home garages. I wonder if that contributed at all if the builder installed that option. And reading a review of this aircraft shows the aircraft has a nasty buffer stall tendency that drops the left wing to the uninitiated:

    "Stalls were next. The Mustang II wing has 2.5° of washout (twist), so that the wingroot stalls first. That 2.5° is a half degree more than I’ve seen on any other airplane. Both power-on and power-off stalls were announced by a light wing buffet before falling off on the left wing, even with the ball carefully centered. I lowered the nose to regain airspeed, then started the nose back up and got buffet warning of a secondary stall. This characteristic is not common in light planes, but a Mustang II checkout should cover all the bases."

  3. Regarding the folding wing option, if the wing folded up in flight it would not result in the aircraft pitching up steeply, but rather the aircraft would roll uncontrollably to impact. I am curious if this was an initial takeoff that was too steep or a low pass gone wrong. An airplane can be stalled at any airspeed.

  4. Investigators found water in the carburetor and the fuel screen had a white residue in it. In the days before the crash the pilot had sought assistance from a mechanic who noted problems with the spark plugs. The plugs were replaced and the pilot said he would do a long runup before attempting to take off.