Monday, January 18, 2021

Loss of Lift: Kitfox Sport, N702KS; accident occurred July 12, 2020 in Rand, Jackson County, Colorado

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Rand, CO
Accident Number: CEN20CA277
Date & Time: 07/12/2020, 0830 MDT
Registration: N702KS
Aircraft: Kitfox KITFOX SPORT
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that during the flight he noticed the oil pressure gauge fluctuating and executed a precautionary landing to a road to examine the engine. He stated that after landing, he performed a walk around inspection of the airplane, which included looking for leaks and checking the oil level and security of the oil cap. Finding no anomalies, he proceeded to take off from the road. During takeoff and while the airplane was gaining airspeed in ground effect, the departure path went over a terrain depression and into a down sloping bowl; the airplane encountered a sudden sink/down flow of air and lost about 10-15 ft of altitude. The pilot attempted to turn toward lower terrain while maintaining airspeed but the sink/down flow of air continued and so he maneuvered to land the airplane in a meadow. Unable to reach the meadow, he turned the airplane into sloping terrain to minimize the impact energy. During the impact, the airplane sustained damage to both wings, the fuselage, and empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions, and noted that the fluctuating oil pressure gauge was likely due to the sending unit location on the engine and associated vibration or a loose ground connection.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/29/2019
Flight Time: 475 hours (Total, all aircraft), 375 hours (Total, this make and model), 385 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kitfox
Registration: N702KS
Model/Series: KITFOX SPORT No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: SPO204001
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/14/2019, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1320 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 783 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Rotax
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: 912ULS
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 hp
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: 33V, 8154 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1535 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 340°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 160°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.39 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Granby, CO (GNB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Walden, CO (33V)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0730 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 40.543333, -106.193889

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