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|Accident date||April 27, 2009|
|Aircraft type||Explorer Aeronautique Inc. Ecoflyer|
Near 42.815 N, -75.684166 W
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On April 27, 2009 at 1645 eastern daylight time, an experimental Explorer Aeronautique Ecoflyer, Canadian registration C-IOFL, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in Lebanon, New York. The pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated at LT Warren Eaton Airport (OIC), Norwich, New York about 1630. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the pilot's family, he was returning to Trois-Rivieres Airport (CYRQ), Quebec, Canada after spending a week at 'Sun and Fun' in Lakeland, Florida. He departed from Sebring, Florida on April 26, 2009, and flew to Florence Regional Airport (FLO), Florence, South Carolina, where he spent the night. On the day of the accident, he departed FLO around 0740 and stopped at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (MRB), Martinsburg, West Virginia before continuing to OIC.
Personnel at OIC reported that the pilot landed at the airport around 1400. He reported to them that he had encountered "rough air and wind gusts like he had never seen before." The personnel reported he was "very shook up" about the encounter. The pilot fueled the airplane adding 10 gallons of fuel, which "topped the tanks." He also called the Buffalo Flight Service Station (FSS) and requested information regarding restricted airspace along his route of flight into Canada. The pilot remained at the airport for several hours and departed at about 1630. Airport personnel watched the airplane depart and reported no anomalies with the departure.
A review of voice communications provided by Buffalo FSS revealed the pilot did not request weather information for his flight or file a flight plan, while he had a weather briefer on the phone. He only requested information regarding active military operations areas (MOA) between his location and the Canadian border.
The following day, April 28, 2009, at approximately 1415, the landowner discovered the wreckage of the airplane while he was performing routine surveillance on his property. There were no witnesses to the accident.
The Ecoflyer was a single-engine airplane powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine. It was a composite airplane, with a fuel capacity of 30 gallons, and a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. The Ecoflyer had a maximum cruising speed of 117 knots, and a range of 510 nautical miles.
A "Statement of Conformity for Advanced Ultra-light Aeroplane" was observed in the airplane. It was signed by the pilot and dated July 10, 2008. The document stated that the airplane "conformed to the Design Standards for Advanced Ultra-light Aeroplanes and is fit for flight." The Registration Certificate was also observed in the airplane, also dated July 10, 2008.
An aircraft logbook was located in the airplane. The first page was completed with the manufacturer, model, serial number, and date of manufacturer information; however, no maintenance entries were observed in the logbook.
The weather reported at Syracuse International Airport (SYR), Syracuse, New York, at 1654, included winds from 340 degrees at 8 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 5,500 feet, scattered clouds at 21,000 feet, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 12 degrees and altimeter setting 30.14 inches mercury.
Personnel at OIC kept a log of weather observations taken hourly from the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) on the field. At 1345 the surface winds were recorded as 220 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 18 knots. The winds remained relatively constant for the next several hours, and at 1645 the winds were from 240 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 20 knots. At 1605, the winds were from 220 degrees at 8 knots, and at 1705, the winds were from 220 degrees at 8 knots.
The wreckage was examined on April 29, 2009, and all major components were accounted for at the scene with the exception of the right horizontal stabilizer.
The left wing was the first piece of wreckage found at the most southern end of the wreckage path. It came to rest perpendicular to the ground, with the inboard section of the wing at the base of the tree. The outboard section of the wing was partially separated from the inboard section, and remained attached by flight control cables. The outboard section with the aileron attached was observed suspended at the top of the tree.
The wreckage path continued about ¼ mile to the main wreckage, through heavily wooded terrain, oriented on a heading of 300 degrees. Located along the wreckage path were the left wing strut, an outboard section of left wing, and the right elevator.
The left wing strut was located about 578 feet from the left wing, to the right of centerline. The top end of the strut contained the attachment hardware for the wing.
The complete right elevator was located 920 feet from the left wing on the centerline of the wreckage path.
The main wreckage came to rest, at the base of a tree, oriented on a heading of approximately 080 degrees magnetic. Trees surrounding the airplane were virtually undisturbed and there was no forward wreckage path. Propeller slash marks were noted in the tree, at a height of approximately 7 feet. The bark of the tree was removed from that height to the ground.
The right wing and wing strut were separated from the fuselage, and was observed adjacent to the cockpit area of the fuselage, at the base of the tree. The right flap remained attached to the wing at all attachment points. The right wing strut was also located adjacent to the wing.
The empennage section was separated from the fuselage area and observed adjacent to it. The left horizontal stabilizer, with elevator attached, remained attached to the empennage; however the right horizontal stabilizer was separated and not located to date.
The vertical stabilizer was attached to the empennage, and the rudder was attached to the vertical stabilizer at its top attachment point.
The engine was observed intact in the cockpit area of the main wreckage. The propeller hub was separated from the engine and both blades were fractured at about their mid-span.
After the accident, personnel at OIC tested the fuel supply from which the pilot fueled his airplane. No contamination or anomalies were noted with the fuel.