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N7511J accident description

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Tail numberN7511J
Accident dateOctober 03, 2008
Aircraft typeAntonovich Anton B Challenger Ii
LocationChugiak, AK
Near 61.4 N, -149.513889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 3, 2008, about 1500 Alaska daylight time, an experimental light sport (E-LSA) homebuilt Challenger II airplane, N7511J, sustained substantial damaged when it collided with tree-covered terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering, about 5 miles northeast of Chugiak, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, when the accident occurred. The non-certificated pilot died at the scene. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local area flight. Witnesses reported that the accident airplane departed from the Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, about 1455.

During an on scene interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on October 3, about 1545, witnesses reported to responding emergency crews that just before the accident they saw the airplane flying northbound, about 100 feet above the tress. The witness said that as it continued northbound, the engine noise increased, and the nose pitched down. The witness said that the airplane's nose continued to pitch down until the airplane became inverted, and it descended nose first into dense woods.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on October 7, a helicopter pilot that was inbound to the Birchwood Airport reported that he saw the accident airplane's departure from Runway 19L. He said that just after the accident airplane became airborne, it began to "porpoise" which continued during climb. The helicopter pilot said that just after takeoff, the airplane turned left, while still very low, and flew over an area of hangars and buildings on the northeast side of the airport. In a report to the NTSB, the helicopter pilot wrote, in part: "At one time we thought he was going to hit one of the buildings due to a steep dive. …We continued our approach and the aircraft was last observed heading northbound."

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on October 7, a flight instructor that had been providing primary flight instruction to the accident pilot reported that he had not progressed to a point where he would endorse the pilot for a solo flight. The flight instructor said that the last time he flew with the accident pilot was June 15, 2008.

The NTSB IIC, along with an FAA airworthiness inspector from the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. No preaccident mechanical anomalies were discovered during the examination.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.