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N96L accident description

Missouri map... Missouri list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Bolivar, MO
37.614484°N, 93.410475°W
Tail number N96L
Accident date 24 Jun 2001
Aircraft type Terminella Glasair II RG
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 24, 2001, at 1300 central daylight time, a Terminella Glasair II RG, N96L, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with terrain following a loss of control during initial climb from runway 18 (3,399 feet by 60 feet, dry/asphalt) at Bolivar Municipal Airport, Bolivar, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 on a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan. The pilot and his single passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight was departing at the time of the accident and had the intended destination of Trenton Municipal Airport, Trenton, Missouri.

According to a written statement provided by a witness to the accident, he was departing the on-airport restaurant when he noticed the accident airplane taking off on runway 18. The witness reported, "The airplane was about 50 feet off the ground and rolling to the left at a fairly fast rate. I believe the roll had already begun when I first saw the airplane. The roll continued to an inverted attitude and possibly past inverted. The airplane crashed immediately into the grass on the east side of the runway. I saw dirt and grass fly into the air, but there was no fire or smoke."

According to a statement provided by the accident pilot's lawyer, the pilot had flown the airplane the night before the accident for approximately one hour and no anomalies were encountered during the flight. At the conclusion of the previous flight the pilot had fueled the airplane. According to the statement, "On date of accident, pilot calculated weight and balance, density altitude, and performed all items on preflight checklist as set forth in pilot's operating handbook." The pilot started the engine, taxied to runway 18, and completed the pre-takeoff checklist. According to the statement, the pilot commenced the takeoff roll on runway 18 and no anomalies were encountered during the takeoff roll. The pilot rotated and accelerated through the best angle-of-climb airspeed to the best rate-of-climb airspeed without any reported anomalies. The statement states, "During the takeoff climb, before the gear were to be retracted, without warning, the aircraft entered an uncommanded roll to the left and impacted the ground on the west side of Runway 18, facing north."

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performed the post-accident inspections of the airplane and its engine. Flight control continuity was established for the aileron, elevator and rudder flight control systems. No anomalies were found with the airframe, the flight control systems, or the aircraft engine that could be associated with any pre-impact condition.

The aircraft maintenance paperwork included a "Airplane Weight & Balance Statement" sheet, dated January 29, 1990, which listed the following information:

Basic Empty Weight: 1,275 lbs

Center-of-Gravity Position: 84.27 inches aft of the datum location

Moment: 107438 in/lbs

The NTSB 6120.1/2 Form, which was completed by the pilot's lawyer, stated that the fuel quantity at the time of the accident was, "38 gallons est. [estimated]." A fuel receipt for the accident airplane, dated June 23, 2001, was obtained from a fixed based operator located at the Bolivar Municipal Airport. The fuel receipt indicated that the accident airplane had been fueled with 15.3 gallons of fuel. According to the Glasair II RG Owner's Manual, the fuel capacity for a Glassair II RG without wing extensions is 40 gallons or 240 lbs. The accident airplane did not have the wingtip extensions.

According to information provided by the FAA inspector assigned to the accident, the pilot weighed 200 lbs and his passenger weighed 185 lbs. The FAA inspector reported that the airplane was loaded with 15 lbs of baggage.

Based on the above information, the aircraft's approximate weight was determined to be 1915.0 lbs at the beginning of the flight. The center-of-gravity location was determined to be 88.41 inches aft of the datum point.

The kit manufacturer's recommended maximum gross weight is 1,800 lbs for an airplane without the wingtip extensions.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot not maintaining aircraft control during the initial climb after takeoff. A factor to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate the airplane over the kit manufacture's recommended maximum gross weight.

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