Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Evolution Revolt, N565PK: Fatal accident occurred April 05, 2021 in Seminole, Gaines County, Texas

Peter Klassen, 44
Seminole, Texas

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas 
Location: Seminole, TX 
Accident Number: CEN21LA181
Date & Time: April 5, 2021, 19:39 Local
Registration: N565PK
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 5, 2021, about 1939 central daylight time, an Evolution Revolt weight-shift trike, N565PK, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Seminole, Texas. The student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

According to a witness who knew the pilot and had seen the pilot flying on other occasions, the airplane was flying at a lower altitude than usual and then made a sharp low turn. She stated that the wind picked up right at that time and caught the wing. She saw the pilot try to recover, but the airplane struck the ground. She stated that one wing and the area where the pilot footrest is located hit the ground first.

FIGURE 1. Photograph of an exemplar airplane of the same make and model as the accident airplane.
Photo courtesy of Evolution Aircraft.

The airplane used a high-mounted, strut-braced wing attached to a suspended frame which housed the pilot and one passenger in a tandem seating arrangement. The front seat position was used for piloting the airplane and the engine and flight controls were accessible from this seat. The airplane had a tricycle landing gear arrangement and was powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine that had been modified from its original configuration with the addition of larger pistons and cylinders to increase the displacement of the engine. The increased displacement raised the power output of the engine to about 115 horsepower.

The recorded weather at the Gaines County Airport, Seminole, Texas, about 10 miles east-southeast, recorded wind about the time of the accident from 160° at 12 knots gusting to 18 knots.

Based on impact signatures, the airplane impacted in a nose-low, left wing low attitude consistent with the witness description. The left-wing leading-edge spar was broken 4 ft. from the wing tip. The forward portion of the airframe cage exhibited rearward crushing damage, and the left landing gear was bent upward and rearward. All 5 propeller blades were fractured at their roots and the blade roots remained attached to the carbon fiber propeller hub. The hub was attached to the engine with a carbon fiber extension which was found separated around its circumference. The ballistic parachute was out of its housing and lying on the ground adjacent to the airplane, but the rocket motor had not been fired. A witness reported that the parachute came out after the aircraft impacted the ground.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N565PK
Model/Series: REVOLT 
Aircraft Category: Weight-shift
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GNC,3315 ft msl 
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 18 knots, 160°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.82 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Seminole, TX (GNC)
Destination: Seminole, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.73507,-102.80049

Peter Klassen

Funeral services for Peter Klassen of Seminole were held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday April 9, 2021 at the Gospel Mission Church with Rev. Bill Wiebe and Peter Thiessen officiating, under the direction of Ratliff Funeral Home of Seminole.

Peter Friesen Klassen was born on July 20, 1976 in Riva Palacio Chihuahua, Mexico and passed away on April 5, 2021 at 7:31 p.m. in Seminole. He lived to be 44 years, 8 months and 15 days. His parents were Martin and Sara Klassen.

Peter lived in Mexico in his early childhood and made his way to Seminole, where he met his beautiful wife and they began a new chapter of their lives. He was baptized at the Reinlaender Mennonite church on June 4, 1995 by Heinrich Reimer. He married Helena Penner on July 2, 1995. This marriage union gave them 25 years 9 months and 3 days. This marriage also gave them one son and one daughter. Both grew up and live here in Seminole.

In his early years, Peter worked on the farm and moved into the construction industry in his early 20’s. He had an ambitious dream of owning a widely successful construction company. He started his business, PK Construction, with his wife, Helena, and they worked tirelessly together for many years, rain or shine they always showed up to get the job done. Peter and Helena would often bring their daughter Annie with them to the job sites. Annie grew up learning everything about the company, from installing with her mom or dad, to working as the secretary. Peter was incredibly proud to have her working beside him. He always had big goals and high expectations of his company. His dreams always kept him motivated and driven. Peter loved his employees, he always took the time to get to know everyone on a personal basis.

He had a story he used to tell often about how he first started his business. He and his wife would load up a sample window and drive to Lamesa to any open lot and wait for someone to stop so they could show them what they did.

Peter was an extraordinary man, he never met a stranger in his life, he was genuinely a happy man. His humor shined through under any circumstance of conversation. He was a very dependable, reliable, and a loyal man. He was always willing to help a friend in need, and never expected anything in return. He was so humble and didn’t care what he or anyone else had. As long as they were willing to listen, he would talk to anyone. He had a personality so huge it could only be summed up by one word “extraordinary.”

Peter never cared too much about going to church but he had a strong one on one relationship with God. He would talk about the good Lord often. In recent months he would talk about his peace with God and the assurance of his salvation.

Peter was a music man. He was very passionate about all kinds of music, from Spanish to classic country. He enjoyed playing the drums. He would play with his friends at fundraisers and at church. Playing the drums was a passion he shared with his son Corey. They spent countless nights outside in the shop working on light shows and playing songs. He always talked and dreamed about Corey further pursuing his skill set with his drums.

Peter loved going to concerts, whether it was to watch a show by one of his favorite artists, being a part of the band or the production. He was always looking forward to the next vacation. His favorite was to go on cruises with his friends and family. His favorite destination was Jamaica and he had the privilege of going multiple times.

Last but not least, his ultimate dream and passion was to fly and own his very own plane. He went flying every chance he got, and when the weather permitted. He died doing what he loved the most...flying, and he will continue to fly high with the angels in heaven.

He is preceded in death by his father Martin Klassen (June 7, 2016).

Peter is survived by his wife Helena of Seminole, a son Corey Klassen of Seminole, a daughter Annie Klassen of Seminole, mother Sara Friesen of Seminole, two brothers Martin and Jacob Klassen also of Seminole, three sisters Elizabeth Wieler, Aganetha Fehr, and Sara Froese along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

We would have loved to have Peter around longer, but he is now at peace and relieved of the darkness of the world.

Peter, we are going to miss your jokes, your smile, your stories, and your personality. Thank you for everything you have given us and left us here below. We are going to continue your legacy and make you proud. We love you and can’t wait to see you again soon.


  1. As long as the trike never once goes below 30 degrees descent then you're fine. Allow the nose to pitch more than 30 degrees and you're cooked.

    An airplane has a tail for a reason.

    Read up on the maneuvering limits at: http://evolutiontrikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/RevoLT-AOI-FTS-Version-1.0.pdf

  2. As long as the trike never once goes below 30 degrees descent then you're fine. Allow the nose to pitch more than 30 degrees and you're cooked.

    Pitching under 30 degrees isn't an absolute disaster per se. All weight-shift rigs in their manuals say never pitch up/down more than 30 nor roll more than 60 degrees, including this Rev machine. Note how specific everything in the manual is between the two wings offered - stall, VNe, g's, etc. The roll/pitch limitations yet are identical.

    Reason is less to do with aerodynamics of the wing, which of course varies, and more about maximum angles one wants to get the suspended-weight (you, the trike, etc.) when it comes to stressing the interface (rigid pylon like the trike) or CG-ing oneself so far in a hang glider they start "tumbling" which is one of the few things that's arguably worse than a stall.

    No idea what happened to this poor guy but notion the airplane itself is insta-doom if the nose dips under 30 degrees isn't accurate.

    1. "At high angles of attack the nose buffets first, loses lift and naturally falls ..."
      and always,
      'The danger isn't the craft. The danger is the pilot and the weather.'

      very west Texas "The windier part of the year lasts for 4.9 months, from February 8 to July 5, with average wind speeds of more than 10.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is April 10, with an average hourly wind speed of 12.3 miles per hour. The calmer time of year lasts for 7.1 months, from July 5 to February 8."

    2. I know what happened he was slow, and low making a steep turn and it was gusting winds. Lots of aircraft of all sort have crashed doing that.

  3. Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 18 knots, 160° Gust to 18 see above


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.