N2898J accident descriptionGo to the Utah map...
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|Accident date||May 29, 2009|
|Aircraft type||Storch Aviation Australia Pty SS-MK4|
Near 37.775834 N, -111.418889 W
NTSB descriptionOn May 29, 2009, about 0855 mountain daylight time an experimental Storch Aviation SS-MK4, N2898J, collided with power lines and terrain at the base of a canyon near Escalante, Utah. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local area personal flight. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger were killed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The local flight departed from a private airstrip about 10 miles north of the accident site about 0800. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The deputy sheriff who responded to the accident site reported that at 0805 he observed the airplane flying about 200 feet agl over his house. A few minutes later a witness located in the Lower Boulder area, 8 miles north of the accident site, made a complaint to the sheriff’s department that an airplane was flying over his residence at a an altitude of about 80 feet agl. He did not observe smoke or vapors emitting from the airplane, and reported that it did not sound like it was in distress. Witnesses in the Calf Creek Campground, which was located within the canyon, 1.5 miles north of the accident site, reported observing an airplane flying on a southbound heading at a "very low" altitude just prior to the accident.
The airplane came to rest against a highway bridge abutment within the valley floor of the Escalante River, at an elevation of about 5,180 feet. The site was surrounded by peaks ranging between 5,600 and 5,800 feet. The airplane was oriented in a nose down attitude with its tail resting against the bridge structure. The odor of fuel was present at the site.
The canyon peaks were straddled from the northeast to the southwest by five power transmission cables. Two cables were discovered severed about midspan, and a third cable was observed draped lower than the remaining two cables. The deputy sheriff reported that a power outage occurred in the area at 0855.
The airplane was recovered for further examination.