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N97JW accident description

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Tail numberN97JW
Accident dateDecember 03, 2003
Aircraft typeBarness Pulsar I
LocationBardstown, KY
Near 37.814167 N, -85.499444 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On December 3, 2003, at 1715 eastern standard time, a homebuilt Pulsar I, N97JW, was destroyed while departing from the Samuels Field Airport (BRY), Bardstown, Kentucky. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot had purchased the airplane the day of the accident, and conducted a 1-hour "familiarization" flight with the pervious owner.

After the "familiarization" flight, the previous owner departed the airport by car, and the pilot informed the airport manager that he was going to try and fly the airplane again. The pilot then contacted his wife by cell phone, and requested her to proceed to the airport to pick him up.

Upon the arrival of the pilot's wife, she observed the airplane on fire in the grass area left of runway 02.

There were no known witnesses to the accident.

The FAA inspector further stated that the airplane impacted the ground in a grass area left of runway 02, about 2,300 feet from the threshold. Examination of the first impact marks revealed damage from the left wing, and a wooden propeller blade, which was separated from the engine. The only damage observed on the separated propeller blade was at the hub section.

The remainder of the airplane came to rest about 30 feet beyond the first impact marks, where a post-crash fire consumed the wreckage. The left wing was separated from the fuselage, and all flight control surfaces were accounted for at the scene.

Examination of the Rotax engine revealed extensive post-crash fire damage. The second wooden propeller blade, which remained attached to the engine, was not damaged. Further examination of the engine could not be performed due to it being seized.

The airplane's maintenance records were destroyed in the post crash fire.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land.

His most recent FAA medical certificate was issued on November 12, 2003. At that time, he reported 2,700 hours of total flight experience.

Toxicological testing was conducted at the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Runway 02 at BRY was a 5,003-foot long, 75-foot wide, asphalt runway.

The wind conditions at an airport located 24 miles northwest of BRY, about the time of the accident, were from 110 degrees at 10 knots.

Review of the operator manual for the engine revealed, "Danger! This engine, by its design, is subject to sudden stoppage! Engine stoppage can result in crash landings. Such crash landings can lead to serious bodily injury or death. Never fly the aircraft equipped with this engine at locations, airspeeds, altitudes, or other circumstances from which a successful no-power landing cannot be made, after sudden engine stoppage."

The manual further stated, "Warning! This is not a certificated aircraft engine. It has not received any safety or durability testing, and conforms to no aircraft standards. It is for use in experimental, uncertificated aircraft and vehicles only in which an engine failure will not compromise safety. User assumes all risk of use, and acknowledges by his use that he knows this engine is subject to sudden stoppage."

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