Monday, December 20, 2021

Murphy Renegade II, N490DJ: Accident occurred September 05, 2021 in Sheridan, LaSalle County, Illinois

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; Des Plaines, Illinois

Location: Sheridan, Illinois
Accident Number: CEN21LA402
Date and Time: September 5, 2021, 13:23 Local 
Registration: N490DJ
Aircraft: Murphy Renegade II
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On September 5, 2021, about 1323 central daylight time, a Murphy Renegade II experimental airplane, N490DJ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Sheridan, Illinois. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The uncertificated pilot stated that he was conducting fast taxi operations and did not intend to fly the airplane; however, the airplane’s tail became airborne during the fast taxi, and he elected to continue the takeoff. The pilot stated that after liftoff, about 500 ft above the ground, he heard a “click” before there was a total loss of engine power. The pilot made a forced landing to a soybean field where the airplane nosed over shortly after touchdown.

An onsite examination of the biplane airplane revealed a fractured engine mount tube and the outboard 3 ft of the upper right wing’s leading edge was crushed aft. The left main landing gear wheel separated from the gear leg during the forced landing. The remaining fuselage, wings, and empennage were relatively undamaged. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to each flight control surface.

The airplane was equipped with a 120 horsepower, two-stroke, two-cylinder, Rotax 670 engine. A partial teardown examination of the engine revealed that the magneto-side piston had seized in the cylinder. The piston and cylinder bore had scrape marks that were consistent with a piston seizure (Image 1). There was piston and ring material missing, with associated impact-related damage to the
cylinder head, piston dome, and sparkplug (Image 2). The power-takeoff piston and cylinder did not exhibit evidence of a piston seizure.

The pilot, who was the registered owner of the airplane, did not provide logbook documentation to confirm the maintenance history for the airplane and the engine.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Murphy
Registration: N490DJ
Model/Series: Renegade II
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: KC09,584 ft msl
Observation Time: 13:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / 14 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Newark, IL (0C8)
Destination: Sheridan, IL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.536622,-88.620558

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