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N109WR accident description

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Tail numberN109WR
Accident dateJuly 14, 2001
Aircraft typeReitz Mohawk 1
LocationCamdenton, MO
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 14, 2001, about 1345 central daylight time, an amateur-built Reitz Mohawk 1, N109WR, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed by impact with a transmission wire, with terrain, and by fire following an in-flight loss of control during climbout from runway 15 at Camdenton Memorial Airport (H21), near Camdenton, Missouri. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot was fatally injured. The local flight was originating from H21 at the time of the accident.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspectors interviewed a witness who had test flown the accident aircraft that morning. A report of that interview noted: I asked [the witness] to describe what he saw of the accident, and he relayed the following story; The aircraft, N109WR, was a homebuilt airplane that was highly modified from the original plans and certificated as Experimental by the FSDO [Flight Standards District Office] in April of this year. He made several test flights in it since then, pronouncing it unsafe after each one and recommending further modifications. On the final flight he found it controllable, but very sensitive to elevator inputs and almost unresponsive to rudder input during flight. He said he only flew it around the traffic pattern once that morning. He mentioned that he and the owner ... adjusted the propeller to get more RPM's from the engine, experimented with the radios, refueled it, and [the owner] asked if it was safe to taxi. [The witness] told him it was OK for taxi, but not safe to fly, and [the owner] departed to taxi it up and down the runway.

After some taxiing on the runway, [the witness] observed the aircraft lift of from runway 15, yaw noticeably to the left, recover and continue climbing out. About 1/2 mile away, he observed it begin a turn to the left, pitch up, stall, and begin a spin to the right. He said it did about 3/4 of a full right spin, disappeared behind trees off the end of the runway and exploded, apparently on impact with the ground.

... He said he had accumulated about 2.0 hours in N109WR doing test flights but had not done any maneuvers or stalls in it because of the controllability problems. Following his last flight in it, he recommended a re-design of the tail, mainly the rudder and vertical fin to improve the yaw control. He felt that the weather would not have been a factor, the wind was light and variable with a few clouds above 5000 feet.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a single engine rating. He held a Third Class Medical Certificate issued on September 22, 1999. The pilot had flown 970 hours total time and 10 hours in the last 90 days. That report showed he had no flight time in this airplane.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The experimental amateur built airplane was a Reitz Mohawk 1, N109WR, serial number 001. Its airworthiness certificate was issued April 26, 2001. The airplane was powered by a Continental O-200 engine. Its propeller was a Warp Drive, 68 inch, three bladed model, serial number H6339, which was shipped on October 10, 1997.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 1335, the Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport, near Kaiser Lake Ozark, Missouri, about 10 miles and 35 degrees from the accident site, weather was: Wind 140 degrees at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; temperature 27 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; altimeter 30.09 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The Camden County Sheriff's Department Death Investigation Report stated: The craft was located in a field South of [road] 5-120 near Show Me Electrics power lines. ... I proceeded into the field and located the downed craft approx. 20' East of the 'H' structure holding the powerlines. The craft had been burned to the point that most of the fuselage had been destroyed. I observed ... the engine of the craft, which was still on fire. ... A short time after my arrival units from the Mid-County fire district arrived along with numerous other emergency service personnel. Fire fighters extinguished the smoldering remains of the plane. ... It appears that the craft struck the ground finally resting on it's top. ... That prior to the craft making contact with the ground it appears that the leading edge of the left wing struck the 'Center Phase' power line approx nine feet from the wing tip.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The Boone/Callaway County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the pilot on July 16, 2001.

A Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report was prepared by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute on August 17, 2001. The report was negative.

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