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N39HR accident description

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Tail numberN39HR
Accident dateFebruary 16, 2001
Aircraft typeRoss G-202
LocationGrand Junction, CO
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On February 16, 2001, approximately 1500 mountain standard time, a Ross G-202 single-engine experimental homebuilt airplane, N39HR, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in an uncontrolled descent near Grand Junction, Colorado. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, received fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight departed Walker Field Airport, Grand Junction, approximately 1430.

The pilot departed the airport for a practice aerobatic flight. When the pilot failed to arrive home, the flight was reported overdue by the pilot's family. A search commenced, and the accident site was located on February 17, 2001, at 1440. The wreckage was found near the edge of a ravine in a hilly open area about 6 miles north of the departure airport.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot received a private pilot certificate on February 20, 1972, and an instrument rating on November 8, 2000. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on July 1, 1999, with the limitation "Holder shall wear correcting lenses while exercising the privileges of his/her airman certificate." According to the pilot's logbook, the pilot had logged 1,451.6 total flight hours, with 63 hours in the accident airplane, and 1 hour in the 30 days preceding the accident. In addition, the pilot had logged 2.6 flight hours performing aerobatic maneuvers.

According to emergency rescue personnel, the pilot was flying the airplane from the aft seat and was not wearing a parachute at the time of the accident.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The tandem two-seat, low-wing airplane was issued an experimental airworthiness certificate on May 28, 1998. The airplane was powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming AEIO-360-B1H engine (s/n: L-27065-51A) and equipped with a constant-speed 2 blade MTV-15-B-C/C193-34 wooden propeller. A review of the aircraft's maintenance logbooks revealed that the airplane underwent its last annual inspection on October 13, 2000, at an airframe and engine total time of 96.7 hours. The total time of the airframe and engine at the time of the accident was 105.7 hours. According to fueling records, the airplane was fueled with 11.3 gallons of 100LL avgas on February 6, 2000.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1456, the weather reporting facility at Walker Field Airport (located 6 miles south of the accident site) reported the wind from 350 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky conditions clear, temperature 6 degrees Celsius, dew point minus 6 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane came to rest upright and remained intact except for the empennage, which was separated from the fuselage. The rudder was separated from the vertical stabilizer and was found between the fuselage and empennage. The left and right wings remained attached to the fuselage. The wings and lower fuselage were crushed upward. The engine mounts were found broken, however, the engine remained attached to the airframe via control cables. The wooden propeller remained attached to the engine crankshaft, however, the two blades were found splintered and separated. One blade was found separated flush with the hub, and the other blade was found separated approximately 1 foot out from the hub. The spinner was compressed aft.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The autopsy was performed by Community Hospital of Grand Junction on February 18, 2001. Toxicological tests performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) were negative.

TEST AND RESEARCH

The engine was examined under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge on February 21, 2001, at the facilities of Beegles Aircraft Services, in Greeley, Colorado. The inspection and disassembly of the engine and related components did not reveal any discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation prior to the accident.

The panel mounted Vision Microsystems VM1000 electronic graphic/digital engine monitoring system was removed from the accident airplane and shipped to the manufacturer for data recovery. Information recovered from the unit revealed "sufficient fuel pressure of 25 p.s.i. and fuel flow for engine operation." The fuel computer showed a remaining fuel quantity of 6.9 gallons and a calculated fuel endurance of 1.2 hours. The manifold pressure was 7.5", a setting consistent with a closed throttle position. The EGT values were in the 950 degrees Fahrenheit range, a reading consistent with combustion at a low power setting. The values were recorded at least within the 3 to 4 seconds preceding a loss of power to the unit. The data also indicated the unit 'System On' time was 35 minutes and 44 seconds.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The aircraft wreckage was released to the owner's representative upon completion of the investigation.

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