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N456CH accident description

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Crash location 30.750278°N, 83.275834°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 Valdosta, GA
30.832702°N, 83.278485°W
5.7 miles away

Tail number N456CH
Accident date 04 Apr 2009
Aircraft type Howard William C KR-2
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 4, 2009, about 1847 eastern daylight time (EDT), an experimental amateur-built Howard KR-2, N456CH, was destroyed by fire during an off-airport landing. The certificated private pilot was killed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight which departed from Valdosta Regional Airport (VLD), Valdosta, Georgia. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The flight departed VLD approximately 1820 and was required to remain with in 25 nautical miles of VLD until the airplane had flown at least a total of 40 hours of logged flight time. This limitation along with others had been issued for the Phase 1 flight testing under the Experimental Operating Limitations by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The pilot called the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) at VLD and reported that he had smoke coming into the cockpit and was about 9 miles from the airport. Subsequently the pilot reported a fire in the cockpit and the ATCT received no further communication from the pilot.

According to a pilot friend of the accident pilot, the accident flight was the third flight for this airplane and the first flight in this airplane for the accident pilot. This individual helped the accident pilot install the engine into the accident airplane and also performed the first 2 flights in the accident airplane; the second of the two flights occurred on February 21, 2009. That flight was approximately 1.7 hours in duration and was flown in order to verify that all the oil temperatures, pressures and controls were "accurate and stable for an extended period of time." After that test flight he noted two discrepancies, the first discrepancy involved the altimeter which was locked up at 2,500 feet above mean sea level. The second discrepancy was that the fuel valve located on the 15 gallon fuel header tank in front of the pilot had blue staining, which was the same color as 100LL aviation fuel, when he went to close the valve. He further stated that the accident pilot installed a radio and a cigarette lighter in the airplane about a week prior to the accident flight. The accident pilot had received between 10 and 15 hours of flight experience in a KR-2S.

The airplane was examined by an FAA inspector who responded to the accident site. The airplane was located beneath a tree along a fence row. The airplane structure, which was comprised of wood and foam/fiberglass, exhibited extensive fire damage. The FAA reported that a small portion of the wingtip was located in the adjacent tree and a wheel from one of the landing gear was located a few feet from the main wreckage. The airplane was consumed by both an inflight and post impact fire. The inspector was unable to confirm flight control continuity due to the extensive fire damage.

According to FAA records the accident airplane was manufactured in 2008 and was issued a special airworthiness certificate on August 8, 2008. The airplane was equipped with a GM Corvair, six cylinder, 100 horsepower engine, and a Prince P-Tip wood and composite propeller.

The 1853 recorded weather observation at VLD 2 miles northeast of the accident site, reported calm winds, clear skies, temperature 24 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.95 inches of mercury.

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