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N8LK accident description

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Tail numberN8LK
Accident dateNovember 07, 2008
Aircraft typeMiller J Kirtley RV-6
LocationMartinsville, VA
Near 36.6 N, -80.038611 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On November 7, 2008, about 1430 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built, RV-6, N8LK, was substantially damaged during an aborted landing at the Covington Airport (VA72), Martinsville, Virginia. The certificated private pilot was killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane was on approach to land on runway 30, a 2,200-foot-long, 100-foot-wide, turf runway.

A friend of the pilot witnessed the accident. In a written statement, he reported that the airplane touched down left of the runway centerline, "a little long, but not excessive," and bounced approximately 3 feet high. As the airplane settled toward the runway, the pilot added full engine power, and the airplane touched down a second time. The airplane then lifted off, pitched nose-up, and yawed to the left, with the flaps extended. The airplane struck some small tree branches on the left side of the runway, before the pilot corrected back toward the right. The airplane was "struggling for altitude, with the nose high as it approached the right side of the runway." Shortly thereafter, when the airplane was about 20 to 30 feet above the ground, it began a slow left yaw and roll. The airplane’s left wing impacted the runway, followed by the propeller, and right wing, in a near vertical attitude. The airplane came to rest on the runway, approximately 180 degrees from its initial approach heading.

Examination of the airplane, including the flight and engine controls, by an FAA inspector did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The flaps were observed at the 10-degree setting. The forward left wing attach point was sheared, and the fuselage was buckled, just aft of the main cabin. The inspector also noted that the airplane contacted several tree limbs on the left side of the runway, which were up to a 1/2-inch in diameter.

The airplane had been operated for approximately 463 total hours at the time of its most recent condition inspection, which was performed on September 18, 2008.

The pilot, age 71, reported 1,300 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA third-class medical certificate, which was issued on December 6, 2006. The pilot’s friend stated that the pilot had accumulated about 800 flight hours in an RV-4, had flown the accident airplane previously, and landed at VA72, on numerous prior occasions.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot, on November 8, 2008, by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Roanoke, Virginia. The autopsy report listed the cause of death as "multiple blunt force injuries."

Toxicological testing conducted on the pilot by the FAA Forensic Toxicology Research Team, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute was negative alcohol, and positive for:

"Atropine detected in Blood 0.063 (ug/ml, ug/g) Chlorpheniramine detected in Blood Chlorpheniramine detected in Urine Naproxen detected in Blood"

A weather observation taken at an airport located about 13 miles southeast of the accident site, at 1419, reported: winds from 200 degrees at 7 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clear skies; temperature 24 degrees Celsius (C); dew point 9 degrees C; altimeter 29.52 inches of mercury.

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