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N366RH accident description

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Tail numberN366RH
Accident dateMay 15, 1995
Aircraft typeHarding 1500-R-MINI-MAX
LocationBraggs, OK
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On May 15, 1995, at 1230 central daylight time, a Harding 1500-R-Mini-Max, N366RH, was destroyed following a loss of control during takeoff near Braggs, Oklahoma. The private pilot sustained fatal injuries. The local personal flight was being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

Witnesses (statements enclosed) reported that at about 1130, the airplane landed on a grass area normally used as a helipad at Camp Gruber (Oklahoma National Guard Training Site). The pilot was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. Several military personnel talked with the pilot and looked at the airplane. The pilot started the engine, initiated an uphill takeoff roll to the north, and then aborted the takeoff. Several witnesses reported that the airplane didn't have enough speed to takeoff. Subsequently, the pilot reversed the direction of the takeoff and initiated a takeoff to the south in a downhill direction. Witnesses reported that the pilot "forced" the airplane into the air and maneuvered to clear buildings as the airplane climbed "slowly" to 60 to 75 feet. One witness stated that "the aircraft appeared to be lacking power."

Witnesses observed the airplane flying over the barracks and then up and down prior to entering a left descending turn. The wing hit a powerline wire about 20 feet above the ground as the airplane descended uncontrolled, impacted the terrain and separated into numerous pieces. Witnesses further reported that it didn't "appear" that he was having any control problems. Temperature was 83 degrees Fahrenheit with a calculated density altitude of 2,200 feet.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the winds were from the south at 3 to 5 knots with a terrain downslope of approximately 10 degrees. Flight control continuity was confirmed, the propeller blades were shattered and the FAA inspector stated that the "aircraft appeared to be producing power on impact." The right wing exhibited physical evidence of a wire strike and one end of the highline cable was pulled loose approximately 20 feet above the ground.

On October 28, 1994, the private pilot/builder was issued the FAA special airworthiness certificate with operating limitations requiring 40 hours of flight test. The pilot logbook showed the first test flight was conducted on November 6, 1994. Logbook entries for December 24, 1994, stated that the "plane has been tested in all areas and is proven safe" and "40 hours has been flown."

Autopsy and toxicology were not performed.

The airplane was released by the FAA to the personnel at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.

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