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N469PD accident description

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Tail numberN469PD
Accident dateOctober 29, 2004
Aircraft typeDouglas Adventure Air AMPIB
LocationPawtucket, RI
Near 41.920556 N, -71.491111 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On October 29, 2004, about 1700 eastern daylight time, an amateur built Adventure Air AMPIB, N469PD, was destroyed while landing at the North Central State Airport (SFZ), Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot had recently completed construction of the accident airplane. On September 21, 2004, an FAA inspector conducted an inspection of the airplane, approved it for flight, and issued a special airworthiness certificate.

The accident flight was the second flight conducted since the construction was completed.

On the day of the accident, witnesses observed the airplane in the airport traffic pattern, utilizing runway 23. As the airplane turned onto the base leg, about 500 feet above the ground, it suddenly "nosed over," and spiraled towards the ground. The witnesses also recalled that the engine "sputtered" just prior to it descending. An additional witness recalled that the engine was "revving at full power" as it descended.

The airplane came to rest about 1 mile from runway 23, where a post-crash fire consumed the wreckage.

According to a statement posted by the accident owner/pilot on October 25, 2004, on a website message board dedicated to Adventurer experimental amphibian airplanes, "I am happy to report that I took N469PD to the air for the first time, October 21...I set rudder trim two clicks to the right to compensate for prop wash, accelerated to 45-50, let tail come up, pushed nose over and down slightly, and lifted off at about 90 mph. Upon liftoff, I found that I was carrying a lot of right stick to try to get the 'heavy' left wing to come up. The stick was also all the way back, and I was in a climbing left turn (this is before I changed the elevator up angle, it was at 3 degrees max up for this first flight, now it is at 18 degrees max up)...Next sunny calm morning, will do another short flight to see if I have leveled out the wings, and if I can get sufficient elevator up travel to climb out of the airport at 90mph..."

Examination of the wreckage by a FAA inspector revealed that the airplane's automotive type engine was extensively damaged by the post-crash fire, and further examination could not be performed. The inspector also noted several socks filled with steel ball bearings, weighing approximately 25 pounds, and 1 or 2 50-pound bags of ballast in the wreckage. The exact location of where the socks and ballast were stationed during the flight could not be determined.

Examination of the tie-down area where the pilot kept the airplane revealed two additional 50-pound bags of ballast.

The pilot reported 292 total hours of flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third class medical certificate, which was dated July 22, 2004.

The pilot did not hold an FAA mechanic certificate, nor did he hold the appropriate aircraft builder certificate.

The weather recorded at the airport, about the time of the accident, included winds from 240 degrees at 3 knots, and clear skies.

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