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N226BW accident description

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Tail numberN226BW
Accident dateApril 20, 2009
Aircraft typeWhitehead Titan
LocationSlaughter, LA
Near 30.727223 N, -91.1425 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 20, 2009, approximately 1100 central daylight time, a Titan Tornado II, N226BW, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during an attempted emergency landing at A&P Airpark Airport (LS77), Slaughter, Louisiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. The student pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was fatally injured. The proposed cross-country flight had originated minutes before the accident, and was destined for Jonesville, Louisiana (L32).

The pilot had just purchased the airplane and was going to ferry it to Jonesville, Louisiana, his home airport. The former owner of the airplane wrote, "The airplane took off on runway 36 and the takeoff looked normal until he got airborne and started what appeared to be a pilot-induced oscillation. He flew a circle still oscillating and came back to try to land. The oscillations continued all the way to the ground. His altitude appeared to be 0-20 feet when he oscillated nose down into the ground." The airport manager, also a witness, said the airplane appeared to "oscillate violently." A third witness, who was fishing nearby, saw the airplane overhead and waved at the pilot. He said everything "seemed fine." Shortly thereafter the airplane reappeared. He wrote, "It seemed like the motor was wide open, then shut off. This happened 2-3 times and the motor stopped."

FAA inspectors who went to the accident site said they found no mechanical discrepancies with the airplane or engine. The former owner told them it appeared that the pilot was over-correcting, or chasing the oscillations. He also said the airplane was quite sensitive around the lateral (pitch) axis.

Examination of the pilot's logbook, containing entries from September 6, 1992, to May 17, 2008, revealed he had logged a total of 196.5 flight hours in the following airplane types:

Cessna 150: 10.0 Cessna 152: 15.0 Cessna 170A: 6.8 Cessna 172: 105.3 Piper PA-22-108: 32.5 Piper PA-28-140: 54.5

The logbook also revealed that the pilot was a student pilot, he had never flown a Titan Tornado II or any other light sport aircraft (LSA), and that his last flight was on May 17, 2008, almost a year before the accident.

The airplane's last conditional inspection was accomplished by the airplane's previous owner on November 13, 2006, at a total airframe time of 40.1 hours. He told FAA inspectors that the airplane was sold on an "as is, where is" basis, and the new owner was fully aware of these stipulations.

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