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N2100S accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Fort Myers, FL
26.640628°N, 81.872308°W

Tail number N2100S
Accident date 19 Apr 1997
Aircraft type Young MERLIN GT
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 19, 1997, about 1200 eastern daylight time, a Young Merlin GT, N2100S, registered to an individual, crashed shortly after takeoff from Pine Shawdows Airpark, Fort Myers, Florida, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was destroyed and the airline transport-rated pilot was fatally injured. The private-rated passenger received serious injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The passenger stated they departed from an intersection of a taxiway and the runway from which there was 1,600 feet of available runway for takeoff. The takeoff was normal. As they climbed through 250 feet, the pilot began to "pump" the throttle as if he was trying to get more power out of the engine. The passenger stated he did not perceive any loss of engine power, but he could not hear it real well for they had the doors locked open and there was a lot of noise in the aircraft. As the pilot pumped the throttle, the aircraft drifted to the left and then the left wing and nose dropped down. The aircraft entered a spin to the left from which they crashed.

Postcrash examination of the aircraft by an FAA inspector showed no evidence of failure or malfunction of the aircraft structure or flight control systems. About 8 gallons of fuel and oil mixture was found remaining in the fuel tank. The mixture had a normal color. Examination of the engine showed no evidence of damage from oil starvation and the spark plugs had deposit coloring consistent with normal engine operation. The engine was placed on an engine run stand and operated to full power with no evidence of failure or malfunction. (See engine test report.)

Postmortem examination of the pilot was performed by Manfred C. Borges Jr., M.D., Associate Medical Examiner, Fort Myers, Florida. The cause of death was attributed to multiple blunt force injuries. No findings which could be considered causal to the accident were reported. Postmortem toxicology studies on specimens obtained from the pilot were performed by Smith Kline Beecham Laboratories, Fort Myers, Florida. The tests were negative for ethanol alcohol, basic, acidic, and neutral drugs. (See supplements K and the toxicology report.)

The manufacturer of the Merlin GT kit, Merlin Aircraft, Inc., was no longer in business at the time of the accident. The former general manager of the company stated the Merlin GT with the 65 horsepower engine and floats installed was under-powered and had poor performance. The aircraft did fly fine with the doors locked up, but this would also cause a further reduction in performance. They normally did not fly the 65-horsepower aircraft on floats with more than the pilot. (See record of telephone conversation.)

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