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N8KD accident description

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Crash location 34.101111°N, 84.161111°W
Nearest city Cummings, GA
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Tail number N8KD
Accident date 05 May 2004
Aircraft type Bergmann RANS S-12 XL Airaile
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On May 5, 2004 at 2125 eastern daylight time, an unregistered Bergmann experimental airplane, Rans S-12 XL Airaile, N8KD, operated by a noncertificated pilot, collided with trees and power lines during a low-pass over runway 21 at Mathis Airport in Cumming, Georgia. The personal flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damage. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed Mountain Airport, Cleveland, Georgia, approximately at 2015 on May 5, 2004.

Witnesses at the airport stated that it was dark outside and that the runway was not equipped with runway edge lights. The witnesses aligned their cars along the end of the runway and turned on their headlights. The noncertificated pilot made three low approaches to runway 21, but on the third approach, the pilot banked the airplane to the left to avoid a collision with the wind sock. The airplane descended and witnesses lost sight of the airplane. Witnesses next reported hearing the on-board ballistic rocket system detonating followed by a power line transformer explosion. The airplane was located 275 feet, southeast the airport in a nose low vertical attitude.


A review of Federal Aviation Administration records failed to disclose an airmen certificate for the pilot, nor was there information available of the pilot's flight experience.


The airplane was not registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, but the pilot had owned the airplane for three months. The Rans S-12 XL Airaile is a high wing, two seat experimental with a 6061-T6 aluminum tail boom. It has smoke-tinted plexi-glass and the wings fold back. The experimental airplane was power by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912S engine. No maintenance records or logbooks were recovered for examination.


The nearest weather reporting facility at the time of accident was Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, approximately 21 miles west of the accident site. The 2155:00 weather observation from Dobbins was: winds 030 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered at 5000 feet, temperature 68 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The barometric setting was 30.11 and it was a dark night. No record of the noncertificated pilot receiving a preflight weather briefing was recovered.


Examination of the accident site revealed that the wreckage was in an area, 275 feet southeast of the runway. There were freshly broken trees, red paint smears on the power lines and a blown transformer at the accident site. The straps of the BRS parachute were wrapped around the propeller. The airplane was vertical to the ground. Examination of flight controls revealed continuity. There were paint smears on the back spar and the propeller blade. The two fuel tanks were not ruptured; over six gallons of fuel were recovered from the fuel system.


The Medical Examiner from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Decatur, Georgia, conducted the autopsy of the noncertificated pilot on May 6, 2004. The reported cause of death was "blunt force injuries." The Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report by the Federal Aviation Administration in Okalahoma City, Okalahoma detailed the results of the postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot. The report revealed that no carbon monoxide or cyanide was detected in the blood. There was 74 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol detected in blood, 118 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol detected in urine, 73 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol detected in vitreous, 64 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol detected in brain and 45 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of ethanol detected in muscle. There was also 3 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of acetaldehyde detected in blood, 11 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of acetaldehyde detected in brain and 9 (mg/dL, mg/hg) of acetaldehyde detected in muscle. In addition, the report revealed fluoxetine detected in blood and urine, 0.105 (ug/ml, ug/g) of norfluoxetine detected in blood and norfluoxetine present in urine.

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