Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Titan T-51D Mustang, N15180: Accident occurred July 06, 2021 at Northeast Ohio Regional Airport (KHZY), Ashtabula, Ohio

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; Ashtabula, Ohio

Location: Ashtabula, OH
Accident Number: CEN21LA309
Date & Time: July 6, 2021, 14:45 Local 
Registration: N15180
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 6, 2021, about 1445 central daylight time, a Titan T-51 homebuilt experimental airplane, N15180, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Ashtabula, Ohio. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The intent of the local flight was to perform fuel flow and fuel indicator checks on the newly built airplane. After takeoff, while climbing through 200 ft agl, the engine lost power. The pilot noticed that the engine computer circuit breaker was tripped. He attempted to reset the circuit breaker and attempted to restart the engine. The circuit breaker would not reset, so the pilot nosed over the airplane to land on the remaining part of the 5,900 ft runway. Upon contact with the runway, the left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane ground looped. The left wing sustained substantial damage.

The airplane was recovered to a secure hangar for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MYRON OLESON 
Registration: N15180
Model/Series: T-51D MUSTANG Aircraft 
Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KHZY,924 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / 19 knots, 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Ashtabula, OH 
Destination: Ashtabula, OH

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.89,-80.79 (est)


  1. Here are the facts, as reported to the FAA Safety Hotline:

    1. The aircraft flap system (major flight controls) was broken, inoperative. Neither locked in the UP position, nor the DOWN position. They trailed freely in the breeze.

    2. Electrical system malfunction. The current draw was excessive, peaking at 50+ amps. The system is only rated for a maximum of 40 amps. This was a known problem by the test pilot and the mechanic who was on the scene. The mechanic told the test pilot..."Do not fly the aircraft".

    3. The cowling sides and top were missing, not installed. The aircraft was certified in condition for safe flight, in a fully assembled status. Not with parts missing. This missing parts would have caused a great deal of parasitic drag.

    4. Prop governor problems. The control spring in the prop governor was too tight, not allowing for course pitch selection at reduced rpm settings. The prop went flat pitch after the power loss, and became a 90 inch speed brake.

    The aircraft, N15180, was not in condition for safe flight, and was not airworthy.

    The test pilot stated on tape..."Let me taxi the plane, and see if I can get the engine to miss. Just let me taxi it."

    This aircraft crashed for one reason, and one reason only. The test pilot ignored the advice of the mechanic, taking the aircraft straight to the runway, with no pre takeoff checks or engine runups, and applied full takeoff power. 12 seconds later the aircraft was destroyed.

    Those are the facts. You be the judge as to who is to blame for the destruction of a $400,000 replica P-51.

  2. The aircraft is an Experimental Amateur Built Plane.

  3. The inculpatory evidence against the test pilot, Bill Koleno, as presented is irrefutable. Therefore, unless there had been some way for the mechanic to physically stop the test pilot from performing a take-off, the entire blame for the accident and resulting damage to the aircraft is due to the totally irresponsible actions of Mr Koleno. Correspondingly, any and all costs of replacing the aircraft, as well as any losses from the asset not being usable during the time following the accident, plus any legal fees should be due and payable from Mr Koleno to the rightful owner(s) without delay.

  4. Hmm, interesting, I know that my aircraft is not airworthy and not safe for me to operate so I`ll pay someone else to do it in case something happens,,, and then I will file a lawsuit and purchase a better airplane that is airworthy with the settlement. Not exactly something myself or many others would do but I guess this is how it works these days. Please be safe everyone and keep in mind that lawyers are cheaper than airplanes(airworthy airplanes)

    1. Your comment is full of misinformation and is probably due to the lack of context in this synopsis. A previous commentor included the context that was left out if you care to be informed. The owner paid the mechanics to FIX the aircraft and to make it air worthy. The test pilot in question, Bill Koleno took it upon himself to ignore warnings from his colleagues to NOT FLY THE AIRCRAFT and had stated he was just gonna taxi it to get it to fail again, knowing the aircraft had many issues. Instead he attempted to fly the plane, with no documentation or logbook recordings, and without the owners consent. So no, the owner is not at fault here.

    2. Dear Hmm, interesting: If I put a stupid comment like this on an accident report, I would sign it "Anonymous" too. What a maroon.

    3. So, who is the guy who you can hire, then sue? You would have to sue the guy who wrecked the plane, presumably, the guy you hired, so how does that seem like a logical plan to you?

  5. This isn't the first Bill Koleno has gotten up to dangerous behavior in an airplane:

  6. Bill koleno has good friends that let him kill other persons and smile.