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N2DF accident description

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Tail numberN2DF
Accident dateMay 30, 1999
Aircraft typePoskus REVELATION
LocationLatrobe, PA
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On May 30, 1999, about 0949 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Revelation, N2DF, was destroyed after colliding with terrain during initial climb out from Westmoreland County airport (LBE), Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot/owner/builder was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions and calm winds prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A witness, an Air Traffic Controller at LBE, observed the aircraft operating the day before the accident and was in the control tower the day of the accident. In a written statement, he said:

"The aircraft requested to taxi to a runway for some high speed taxi runs. He was given permission and taxied up and down runway 3/21 for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Then he requested take-off clearance on runway 21. He was cleared for take-off. I observed the aircraft from the start of take-off roll. This was supposed to be the first flight for this aircraft except for the day before (5/29/99), when he did the same maneuvers on runway 23. On 5/29/99, he barely got airborne and had to land right away. The pilot mentioned something to the tower about engine problems and taxied back to parking. On 5/30/99, after the aircraft became airborne and got about two thirds of the way down runway 21, it wobbled a few times and banked to the left and crashed into the hillside."

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspectors examined the wreckage on May 30, 1999. The examination revealed that all components of the airplane were located at the impact site, a grass covered hill. An FAA Inspector reported that from ground scaring found at the site, the airplane appeared to impact the terrain on the left wing and nose section of the fuselage. The airplane, a pusher with the engine mounted behind the open cockpit, was resting in an inverted attitude, with all flight controls intact and the propeller tips bent. All switches were found in the "on" position, with the airspeed indicator indicating 86 MPH and the RPM indicator at 2,200 RPM. A two lane road paralleled the accident site.

The airplane was equipped with a 2-cycle engine. According to a representative of the engine manufacturer, the pilot contacted him on May 26, 1999, asking for help in adjusting his engine. In a written statement, the representative explained his association with the pilot:

"I had not heard from the pilot until May 26, 1999, when he called me to ask for help in adjusting the carburetors on the 2Si engine he purchased from the 2Si factory. He indicated that he got a good price on a factory overhauled engine. He indicated that he had not flown his aircraft yet, but was planning to do so soon. He asked if it was OK to bring his aircraft down to my private airstrip to make engine adjustments. I asked if he would trailer the aircraft down, and he indicated that he would fly it. I said that was not a good idea since he was having carburetor problems. The carburetor problems he described as running excessively rich, with fuel dripping from the air filters. I described a similar problem that I had with my 2Si engine and what actions I took to correct it. Next I heard that the pilot suffered a fatal accident in his amateur built aircraft at the Latrobe Airport on May 30, 1999."

An FAA Inspector issued the pilot a Repairman Certificate for Experimental Aircraft Builder limited to the Revelation, along with a Special Airworthiness Certificate, on May 18, 1999. The pilot installed the engine on April 14, 1999. According to the pilot's logbook, he had accrued a total of 141 hours flight hours at the time of the accident, with no log entries for flights in the Revelation or any other experimental aircraft.

Examination of the engine and related components revealed no pre-impact deficiencies.

An autopsy and toxicology examination was performed by the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office, Pennsylvania, on May 31, 1999. A toxicology exam was also performed by the FAA's toxicology laboratory in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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