Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Skystar Kitfox Classic IV, N90KF: Accident occurred April 25, 2021 in Mountain Rest, Oconee County, South Carolina

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; West Columbia, South Carolina

Location: Mountain Rest, SC 
Accident Number: ERA21LA192
Date & Time: April 25, 2021, 11:03 Local 
Registration: N90KF
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 25, 2021, about 1103 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Kitfox Classic IV airplane, N90KF, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Mountain Rest, South Carolina. The pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot, he departed Oconee County Regional Airport (CEU), Clemson, South Carolina, with his passenger for a local sightseeing flight where they intended to survey fields that might serve as runways. They would descend to about 500 ft above ground level (agl) when they found a field to survey for length, power lines and stumps, and then climb up to 1,500 - 2,000 ft agl to fly to the next field. The pilot stated that the engine had been running smoothly during the 20-minute flight; however, after they surveyed the third field and began to climb out, the engine stopped producing power about 600 ft agl and the propeller continued to windmill. He selected a field for a forced landing site, established the best glide speed, and turned on the electric fuel pump which restored some power to the engine for about 10 seconds. He stated that when he realized that the airplane would not make it to the selected field, he brought the throttle to idle and performed a forced landing into the trees.

A witness reporting seeing the airplane flying “very low” toward the trees. She stated that the airplane sounded “like a terrible old lawn mower that was running out of gas.” She stated that there were “small amounts of whitish grey smoke” trailing behind the airplane then it disappeared over the tree line.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the main wreckage came to rest upright in a creek in a nose down attitude. The empennage was fractured and located in a tree and one wing was fractured and located about 50 ft from the main wreckage.

The engine was examined under the supervision of an FAA inspector after it was recovered to the owner’s facility. The examination did not reveal any catastrophic failures that would have prevented normal operation. Compression and suction were achieved on all cylinders except for one cylinder which was impact damaged. Fuel recovered was light blue in color and absent of debris.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N90KF
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
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: CEU,890 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 100°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3300 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Clemson, SC (CEU) 
Destination: Mountain Rest, SC

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  34.854167,-83.150278 (est)

OCONEE COUNTY, South Carolina (FOX Carolina)- The Oconee County Sheriff's Office says that deputies helped to locate a plane crash along Taylor Creek Rd. near Highlands Highway late Sunday morning.

The sheriff's office says that dispatch received word of the crash at about 11:00 am on Sunday. 

Two individuals were transported to the hospital for treatment by helicopter, according to Oconee County Emergency Management. 

The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement about the incident on Monday. The FAA says that the plane was a single engine Kitfox that crashed into the trees and came to a rest near a creek in the area. FAA confirmed that there were two passengers on board. 

FAA says that they along will the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident.

Officials from Oconee County Emergency Services confirmed that they also responded to the incident and have since secured the scene.

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