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N1085 accident description

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Tail numberN1085
Accident dateJuly 20, 2007
Aircraft typeMidget Mustang M-1
LocationCovode, PA
Near 40.881111 N, -70.036389 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 20, 2007, about 0900 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Midget Mustang M-1, N1085, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Covode, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Penn Valley Airport, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot had recently purchased the airplane in Connecticut, and was attempting to fly the airplane back to his home near Renton, Washington. Two witnesses in the vicinity of the accident site observed the airplane flying westbound and stated the engine did not sound normal. Shortly thereafter, they heard an explosion and saw smoke. The wreckage was subsequently located 2 days later in an open field. A ground scar, and an approximate 50-foot-long debris path were observed leading to the main wreckage, which was consumed by fire, from the empennage forward. Several sections of the wooden propeller were observed along the debris path, and an undetermined length of the propeller was consumed by fire.

The airplane was moved to the Indiana County Airport (IDI), Indiana, Pennsylvania for further examination. The engine was inspected on July 27, 2007, by the FAA inspector, and a representative from Teledyne Continental Motors. The engine, and all accessories sustained fire damage. Disassembly of the engine did not reveal evidence of any catastrophic failures. Both magnetos could not be rotated and were partially consumed by fire. All spark plugs were intact and soot-covered. Their respective electrodes displayed evidence consistent with normal wear. The carburetor was fire damaged; however, the brass float and needle valve assemblies remained intact and moved freely. The throttle plate was observed in the full open position and could not be moved by hand. Valve train continuity was observed on all cylinders and compression was attained on cylinders No. 1 and No. 3. Compression was not obtained on cylinders No. 2 and No. 4, and their respective intake and exhaust valve springs were fire damaged. A borescope inspection of all cylinders did not reveal any internal abnormalities.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on July 23, 2007, by Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to the forensic pathologist's report, the pilot sustained extensive thermal and blunt force traumatic injuries.

Toxicology testing was performed on the pilot, by the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The pilot, age 47, reported 480 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was dated May 8, 2007.

According to maintenance records, the airplane and engine had been operated for about 270 total hours. The intended cross-country flight was the airplane's first flight since its most recent condition inspection, which was performed on June 9, 2007.

A weather observation taken at IDI, which was located about 17 miles south-southwest of the accident site, at 0842, included: winds from 280 degrees at 13 knots, with 17 knot gusts; visibility 10 statue miles; broken ceilings at 2,500, 2,900, and 3,500 feet; temperature 18 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 13 degrees C; altimeter 29.99 inches of mercury.

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