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N91MK accident description

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Crash location 32.457778°N, 87.918611°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Demopolis, AL
32.517636°N, 87.836402°W
6.3 miles away

Tail number N91MK
Accident date 24 Apr 2009
Aircraft type Keeley/Tidd MK-1
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 24, 2009, about 1337 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built, Kenney/Tidd MK-1, N91MK, was substantially damaged following an unintentional takeoff during a high-speed ground test, at Demopolis Municipal Airport (DYA), Demopolis, Alabama. The pilot/owner was fatally injured. The flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed..

The following sequence of events was developed from several witness reports. While the pilot sat in the airplane, an acquaintance hand-propped the engine, and it idled for a brief time before it stalled. The pilot then exited the airplane and hand-propped the engine while the acquaintance restrained the airplane. After the engine started, the pilot re-boarded the airplane and closed the canopy. The acquaintance informed the pilot that a seat belt was protruding from the cockpit, and the pilot re-opened the canopy to secure the seatbelt. He then informed the acquaintance that he would return shortly, since he was only going to do some high-speed ground tests on the runway.

The pilot made one successful high speed ground test run along runway 22, and taxied back for a second run. During the second high speed test run, at a point that was more than half-way along the runway, the airplane became airborne, and it was observed to be moving erratically in all three axes. The airplane then appeared to partially stabilize, and it initially flew away from the airport on the runway heading. The airplane made one left turn and then at least two right turns in an apparent attempt to return to the airport. After the first right turn, witnesses heard the engine "sputter," and they stated that the engine "cut out" after the second right turn. The airplane descended towards the ground at a steep angle, and impacted in a grassy area next to a school. A fire consumed the cockpit.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the accident, the accident site was located approximately 1.9 miles east-southeast of the threshold of DYA runway 22. The airplane came to rest upright, and was relatively intact. The aft wing attach point of the left wing was fractured, and the left wing was canted forward. Neither of the wings exhibited impact damage to its leading edge. The two-bladed wood propeller was oriented vertically, and the propeller spinner was crushed on its lower side. The lower propeller blade was fractured in the aft direction; the upper blade was intact. Neither blade exhibited any rotational scoring. Flight control continuity for the rudder, ailerons and elevator was established from the respective controls to the cockpit area, but fire consumed portions of the push-pull tubes near the cockpit.

FAA records indicated that the pilot, age 61, held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine and multi-engine land ratings. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in June 2008, at which time he reported 1,200 total hours of flight experience. The pilot also held an experimental repairman certificate, which was issued on February 25, 2009.

According to FAA information, the airplane was an all-metal, single-place, low wing monoplane, and was equipped with fixed landing gear, and a converted Volkswagen engine of 1,915 cubic centimeters displacement. FAA documentation indicated that the pilot and another individual were listed as co-builders of the airplane. According to the individual who was listed as the co-builder, the airplane was a "Hummel Bird," and the co-builder began constructing the airplane from plans in 1996. He constructed most of the fuselage, but ceased the activity, and the pilot completed the remainder of the construction. The airplane was first registered with the FAA in February 2009, and the pilot was listed as the registered owner.

FAA information indicated that DYA was public airport equipped with a single asphalt runway that measured 5,000 feet long by 100 feet wide. Airport elevation was 113 feet above mean sea level. The airport was not equipped with an air traffic control tower. The DYA airport common traffic advisory and Unicom radio frequencies were the same, and the communications on that frequency were not recorded.

The automated weather observation at an airport located 31 miles west of the accident site, at about the time of the accident, reported variable winds at 6 knots, few clouds at 6,000 feet, broken cloud layer at 25,000 feet, 10 miles visibility, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury.

(c) 2009-2018 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.