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N39DX accident description

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Tail numberN39DX
Accident dateJuly 19, 2009
Aircraft typeJames O'Bert Vari-Eze
LocationColumbus, GA
Near 32.516389 N, -84.938889 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 19, 2009, about 1815 eastern daylight time, an amateur built Rutan Vari-eze, N39DX, was substantially damaged when it collided with buildings and a tractor after takeoff at Columbus Regional Airport (CSG), Columbus, Georgia. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. According to witness statements, the pilot had been practicing takeoffs and landings (touch and goes) on runway 31. Just prior to the accident, the airplane was observed to touchdown, and then takeoff. According to preliminary information provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), moments later the pilot of the accident airplane radioed that he “had a problem.” The airplane then “veered to the right,” “clipped a hangar,” “skipped” off the top of a shed, and then impacted an unoccupied tractor and broke apart. According to FAA records, the pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on August 21, 2007. He reported 1,500 total hours of flight experience on that date.

The amateur built airplane, was a rear engine, two place, composite construction, with a canard wing. It was equipped with tricycle landing gear, with fixed main landing gear, and a retractable nose landing gear. The airplane's special airworthiness certificate was issued on September 16, 1993.

A weather observation taken at CSG about 24 minutes prior to the accident, included winds from 340 degrees at 9 knots, 10 miles visibility, clear sky, temperature 28 degrees Celsius, dew point 13 degrees Celsius and an altimeter setting of 30.05 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was retained by the Safety Board for further examination.

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