Monday, September 13, 2021

Quad City Challenger II, N778H: Accident occurred September 11, 2021 at Presque Isle County Airport (KPZQ), Rogers City, Michigan

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; Grand Rapids, Michigan
Location: Rogers City, Michigan
Accident Number: CEN21LA420
Date and Time: September 11, 2021, 07:45 Local
Registration: N778H
Aircraft: Quad City Ultralight Challenger II
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 11, 2021, about 0745 eastern daylight time, a Quad City Ultralight Challenger II experimental airplane, N778H, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Rogers City, Michigan. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The uncertificated pilot reported that about 100 ft into the takeoff roll on runway 27 the airplane began to swerve right, but before he could abort the takeoff he heard a bang and the airplane pitched up and rolled.

A witness reported that the airplane abruptly pitched up, rolled right, and impacted the ground in a left wing down attitude. The witness stated that the airplane had completed about 270° of right roll when the left wing impacted the ground.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing's forward lift strut had separated from the fuselage longeron (Image 1). The channel bracket remained attached to the lift strut, but the AN4-24A bolt had pulled out of the fuselage longeron (Image 2). The ¼” AN365-248 nyloc nut that normally secured the AN4-24A bolt was not located during the investigation.

The pilot did not maintain maintenance records for the airplane, nor had the airplane undergone a condition inspection since the experimental airworthiness certificate was approved in 2007.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Quad City Ultralight
Registration: N778H
Model/Series: Challenger II NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
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: KPZQ,670 ft msl 
Observation Time: 07:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 200°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rogers City, MI 
Destination: Rogers City, MI

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 45.407083,-83.812861 (est)

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