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N259CM accident description

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Tail numberN259CM
Accident dateJune 18, 2009
Aircraft typeChris Mitchell TITAN TORNADO
LocationChadbourn, NC
Near 34.303056 N, -78.8225 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On June 18, 2009, about 1907 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Chris Mitchell Titan Tornado II S, N259CM, was substantially damaged following a loss of engine power and impact with terrain near Chadbourn, North Carolina. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The non-certificated pilot was killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated at a private, residential airstrip in Chadbourn at the time of the accident.

Witnesses reported that the pilot taxied the airplane to the end of the grass airstrip, where he performed an engine run-up; all seemed normal with the engine. Immediately after takeoff, a reduction in engine power was observed. Power then increased, followed by another power reduction and the airplane stopped climbing. The pilot initiated a right-hand turn back toward the airstrip. While in the turn, the witnesses observed the airplane stall and enter a spin at about 100 feet above ground level, from which it impacted the ground.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) visited the accident site and examined the wreckage. He reported that the airplane impacted the ground at a steep angle and there were no ground scars observed outside the radius of the wreckage. Flight control continuity was confirmed from the rudder and elevator to the cockpit. The ailerons remained connected to each other; however the aileron push/pull tube was broken from impact with the ground. One blade of the wooden propeller was splintered; the other blade was undamaged. The engine could be rotated freely by hand. Residual fuel in the fuel filter appeared clean and no contaminants were noted. There was no fuel in the carburetor bowl; however the engine remained inverted overnight prior to the examination. The air filter was clean and the spark plugs were normal in appearance. The smell of fuel was apparent in the area of the main wreckage and the ground was oil-soaked under the engine. The fuel shut-off valve was found in an intermediate position (not on or off) and there was no detent for the handle.

The 1859 weather observation for Whiteville, North Carolina (CPC), located about 6 miles southeast of the accident site, included the following: sky clear, surface winds from 170 degrees at 6 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, temperature 30 degrees Celsius, dew point 22 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.86 inches of mercury.

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