Monday, January 31, 2022

Christavia Mk 1, Unregistered: Fatal accident occurred January 30, 2022 in Oral, Fall River County, South Dakota

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 traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota

Location: Oral, South Dakota
Accident Number: CEN22FA109
Date and Time: January 30, 2022, 17:10 Local 
Registration: UNREG
Aircraft: Christavia MK1 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 30, 2022, about 1710 mountain standard time, an unregistered Christavia MK1 airplane sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Oral, South Dakota. The uncertificated pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s friend, the pilot texted him to ask if he could taxi the airplane on the private airstrip, which was located at the friend’s residence. At the time of the pilot’s request, the friend was not at his residence. The friend arrived home about 1645 and observed the pilot taxing the airplane. About 1700, the friend observed the airplane airborne, and the pilot completed two touch and go landings on the private airstrip, then departed to the south.

About 1720, the friend texted the pilot to inquire about his location and there was no response. The friend then departed in his Piper airplane to look for the pilot. The friend located the accident airplane, which was crashed in a field near the pilot’s residence, about 2 miles from his private airstrip.

The friend then returned to his private airstrip to respond to the accident site in his personal vehicle. The friend noted the pilot had the lap belt restraint secured, and the shoulder harness restraint was not used.

The airplane did not have an airworthiness certificate. According to the friend, the pilot had been working on the kit airplane for several months in preparation to have the airplane certificated and registered.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the left wing aft spar was separated at the wing root, and the wing was displaced forward. The lower forward fuselage was crushed upward and aft. The outboard right wing displayed leading edge aft crush damage. The engine was displaced downward and to the left. 

Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to all the flight control surfaces. The fixed-pitch propeller was separated at the engine crankshaft flange and displayed forward twisting deformation to both blades. The airframe and engine examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Christavia 
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Model/Series: MK1 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: KCUT, 5545 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 3°C /-11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Oral, SD 
Destination: Oral, SD

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: 43.375175,-103.29778

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.