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N68474 accident description

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Tail numberN68474
Accident dateMay 21, 1998
Aircraft typeKreatz Genesis
LocationMaple Lake, MN
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On May 21, 1998, at 1817 central daylight time, an experimental Kreatz Genesis, N68474, was destroyed when in impacted the ground after takeoff. The airplane climbed to about 100 to 200 feet when it nosed down and impacted a field. The pilot and second pilot received fatal injuries. The CFR 14 Part 91 flight was taking off from the Maple Lake Airport, Maple Lake, Minnesota, on a local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

Witnesses reported that the pilot and second pilot had been flying the airplane for approximately two hours throughout the day. The witnesses reported pilots had landed the airplane at Maple Lake and were seen walking around the hangar area prior to the accident flight.

Witnesses reported seeing the pilots in the airplane as it departed runway 10. The witnesses reported the engine sounded normal during the takeoff roll and that the airplane rotated normally.

A witness reported the airplane climbed to about 100 to 200 feet, but described the airspeed as being very slow, almost at a stall speed. He reported the engine revved up "really high" to what sounded like 1,000 RPM's higher than normal takeoff power. The witness reported the airplane immediately went into a 60 degree left bank, and then the airplane turned right into an 80 degrees nose dive. The witness reported the airplane went straight down and did not spin.

Personnel Information

The pilot was a private rated pilot with a single engine land rating. He held a Third Class medical certificate. He had a total of approximately 130 hours of flight time. The pilot's logbook was not obtained and it was unknown how many hours the pilot had flown in the last 12 months.

The second pilot was a commercial pilot with single and multi-engine land, and single engine sea ratings. He was instrument rated in airplanes, and he held instructor ratings in single and multi-engine land airplanes. He had a total of about 7,950 hours of flight time. The second pilot's logbook was obtained but it did not indicate how many hours the pilot had flown in the last 12 months. The logbook did indicate the second pilot had flown numerous experimental aircraft. The logbook indicated he had flown the first 40 hours of the test flights on the experimental aircraft after they had received their Special Airworthy Certificates from the FAA.

The pilot was the owner and builder of the airplane. The second pilot was qualified to provide flight instruction to the pilot in the pilot's experimental airplane.

A witness reported that the pilot had only flown production airplanes and wanted someone who had experience in experimental airplanes to learn the characteristics of the airplane. The witness reported the pilot intended to receive instruction in the airplane before flying it solo.

The second pilot was listed on the pilot's airplane insurance policy.

Aircraft Information

The airplane was a single engine experimental Kreatz Genesis, serial number 037. The airplane seated two and had a gross weight of 1,400 pounds. The engine was a modified Subaru EA-81 engine that produced 100 horsepower. The FAA Special Airworthiness certificate was issued on July 1, 1997. The airplane had flown approximately 24 hours since it was certified.

Witnesses reported that the airplane was damaged on July 1, 1997, on the same day it had received its Special Airworthiness Certificate. Witnesses reported that a storm had caused the roof of the hangar in which the airplane was stored to collapse, causing damage to the airplane. The witnesses did not indicate the extent of the damage to the airplane, other than damage to the wing. Witnesses reported it took approximately nine months to repair.

The engine was modified for airplane use. The pilot used a propeller belt reduction drive to reduce the engine RPM's to approximately 2,500 propeller RPM's. The belt reduction drive system consisted of two sprockets attached to the engine and propeller and driven by two 30 mm wide belts.

The tachometer at the accident site indicated 19 hours, but a witness reported the airplane had been flown approximately 5 hours before the installation of a new tachometer.

The gross weight of the airplane was 1,400 pounds. The empty gross weight was listed at 750 pounds and had a useful load limit of 650 pounds. The two pilots combined weight was approximately 370 pounds. The amount of fuel on board was not determined.

The stall speed of the airplane was listed as 50 mph.

Meteorological Conditions

At 1753, the weather conditions at Maple Lake Airport were VFR. The sky was clear with 10 miles visibility. The temperature was 69 degrees F. and the winds were 060 degrees at 7 knots.

Wreckage and Impact Information

The airplane wreckage was located approximately 900 feet from the departure end of runway 10, and approximately 50 feet to the left of the extended centerline.

The airplane impacted a dirt field that was adjacent to an alfalfa field. The airplane impacted the field in a steep nose down attitude. The right wing exhibited extensive leading edge damage and chordwise twisting. The left wingtip indicated lead edge damage, but the wing remained attached to the fuselage and did not exhibit the degree of twist or wrinkling to the wing's surface that was evidenced by the right wing.

The nose and cockpit of the airplane was crushed and buckled during impact. The aft pusher mounted engine was intact and remained attached to its motor mount and did not enter the cockpit.

The three bladed propeller remained attached to the engine. One of the blades was broken diagonally about mid-span. The other two blades were intact. A black transfer mark was evident on the aft edge of the left aileron where a propeller blade contacted the aileron during impact.

The four empennage tail booms were bent and buckled to the right. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers did not exhibit impact damage.

The flight controls exhibited continuity.

The engine inspection revealed that there was continuity through the drive train. No anomalies were revealed that would prevent the engine from operating prior to impact.

The two 30 mm wide reduction drive belts were not found at the impact site. Searches for the drive belts were made of the surrounding area on two separate occasions but without success. All other airplane components were located at the impact site.

The airspeed indicator was found with the needle stuck at approximately 41 mph.

Witnesses reported seeing fuel leaking from the airplane at the impact site.

Medical and Pathological Information

Autopsies were performed on the pilot and second pilot at the office of the Wright County Coroner, Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Reports were prepared by the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute. The results on both pilots were negative.

Additional Information

Parties to the investigation included the Federal Aviation Administration, Stratus Inc., and Innovative Engineering Inc.

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