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N7XS accident description

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Crash location 32.736666°N, 84.592500°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 Talbotton, GA
32.677637°N, 84.539366°W
5.1 miles away
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Tail number N7XS
Accident date 18 Mar 2007
Aircraft type James Walter Hornet
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On March 18, 2007, about 1400 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Hornet, N7XS, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during a cross-country flight near Talbotton, Georgia. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Camilla-Mitchell County Airport (CXU), Camilla, Georgia, about 1300. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A witness at the airport stated that the pilot inquired about the purchase of fuel at CXU. He informed the pilot that there was no fuel service available at the airport; but that he would assist him in getting some. The witness continued by stating that the pilot wanted to top off his right main fuel tank, and that the airplane held a total of 18 gallons of fuel. After filling the right fuel tank, he remembered that the airplane required 9.1 gallons of fuel. He said that the pilot was in "good spirits," and seemed excited about the remainder of his trip.

On March 20, 2007, a family member of the pilot called the Jacksonville Flight Service Station to report that N7XS did not arrive at its destination airport, and that they did not hear from the pilot. An all notification bulletin was transmitted for the missing airplane, and the Civil Air Patrol located the airplane on March 21, 2007, in a heavily wooded area.

The pilot, age 70, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, issued on March 27, 1991. The pilot's last medical exam was on August 31, 1989, for a third-class medical certificate with no limitations or waivers. The pilot's logbooks were not recovered for review.

The one-seat, high-wing, fixed-gear airplane, serial number 003, was manufactured in 1996. It was powered by a Rotax 582-99 80-horsepower engine. Review of the maintenance logbook records showed an annual inspection was completed on March 15, 2006, at a recorded airframe total time of 242.2 hours.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the nose section and cockpit were crushed aft towards the fuselage. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the engine controls in the cockpit were in the full forward position, and the fuel control was in the open position. It was noted that when the fuel control was in the open position, the fuel was supplied to the engine from both fuel tanks. Examination of the main fuel tanks revealed that the right fuel tank was full of fuel and the left tank was empty. Examination of the right main tank fuel line revealed that it was disconnected at the fuselage fitting. During inspection of this fitting it was noted that the o-ring seal was very brittle, and the locking mechanism could not lock the fuel line to the engine fuel intake line. The right main fuel tank vent line was also brittle and broken. The main landing gear remained attached to the fuselage and was bent aft. The empennage tubing was buckled throughout the airframe. The wing section of the airplane remained attached to the fuselage, and was partially separated from the fuselage canopy. The right and left horizontal stabilizers were bent and separated from the empennage. The rudder remained attached and was buckled. Flight control cable continuity was established throughout the aircraft to all flight control surfaces.

The engine remained attached to the center wing section of the airplane. Examination of the three bladed propeller revealed that it was intact and showed no signs of rotation. The engine was inspected to facilitate an engine run. The carburetor was removed and less than a teaspoon of water was found in the bowls. The bowls were cleaned out to facilitate the engine run. Fuel from the right tank was put into the left tank and power was supplied to the starter. The engine was started and it ran at various power settings for 5 minutes. No other anomalies were noted with the engine.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot on April 26, 2007, by the division of Forensic Sciences, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, State of Georgia, as authorized by the deputy coroner of Talbot County, Georgia. The cause of death was reported as "blunt force injuries of the head."

Forensic toxicology was performed on specimens from the pilot by the Federal Aviation Administration Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The toxicology report noted:

No carbon monoxide detected in the blood No cyanide detected in the blood No ethanol detected in the Urine Terazosin present in the blood Terazosin present in the urine 0.159 (ug/ml, ug/g) diphenhydramine detected in the blood Diphenhydramine present in the urine 43.83 (ug/ml, ug/g) acetaminophen detected in the urine

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