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N102JB accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Daytona Beach, FL
29.210815°N, 81.022833°W

Tail number N102JB
Accident date 17 Jul 1999
Aircraft type Blackburn John D. Jr. BUSHBY M II
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 17, 1999, at 1615 eastern daylight time, a Bushby M II experimental aircraft, N102JB, collided with the ground shortly after takeoff from the Spruce Creek Airport in Daytona Beach, Florida. The airplane was operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local pleasure flight. The pilot received fatal injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was departing at the time of the accident.

The pilot was flying the aircraft for its first flight following recent maintenance work that he performed on the engine to correct a misalignment of the alternator drive belt. Shortly after takeoff from runway 5, the airplane was seen by several witnesses in a climb. At approximately 700 feet above ground level (agl), the engine quit. One witness overheard the engine cease, followed by the sound of three to four backfirings. Another witness "saw the plane coming in fast, but heard no engines." He stated that "it looked like [the pilot] was trying to land [the airplane] in an open field... It came in low and was headed straight into the trees." The airplane was then lost from view into a gathering of pine trees.

An on-scene investigation conducted by an FAA inspector. The airplane was located one-mile northeast of the airport in an area of pine trees standing 40 to 60 feet high. The left wing was found separated from the main fuselage embedded in a pine tree 40 feet above the ground approximately 50 feet from the main wreckage. The airplane came to rest in an inverted nose down position. Several sections of the aircraft, including the wingtips, magnetic compass and sections of the tail, were found over a widely scattered area. The canopy was broken into several sections and was found separated from the aircraft. Each of the propeller blades were separated at the hub.

An examination of the engine was conducted. The upper engine cowling was removed to expose the engine. The screen on the electric fuel pump and the carburetor air filter were removed and examined, and fuel was present in both. The wire to the center post of the distributor was found disconnected. According to the FAA inspector, the normal route of the wiring is through the firewall, over the alternator drive belt, and then to distributor. The wire was not broken, cut or damaged, and was sufficient in length. The connector end of the wire was a molded 90-degree snap-on fitting. The FAA inspector attached the wire to the center post of the distributor, and he observed there to be a "distinct locking feature" present.

The pilot possessed a private pilot certificate, issued on October 31, 1977, with a single-engine land rating. In addition, he held a repairman experimental aircraft builder certificate with the limitation, "Inspection certificate for experimental aircraft make John D Blackburn, model Bushby M II, serial number MII-1321, certification date: 29 Apr 1995." According the airplane's records, it was issued a special airworthiness certificate on April 29, 1995.

An autopsy was performed by the Office of the Medical Examiner in Volusia County, Florida, on July 19, 1999. A toxicological protocol (#9900167001) was performed by the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. No carbon monoxide, cyanide or ethanol was detected in the blood. Quinine, at an unspecified level, was detected in the blood.

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