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N78WC accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Canton, IL
40.581705°N, 90.046506°W

Tail number N78WC
Accident date 08 Aug 1993
Aircraft type Walter D. Courtney Courtney Two
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On August 8, 1993, Mr. Walter D. Courtney departed Canton Ingersoll Airport, Canton, Illinois, on a pleasure flight under 14 CFR Part 91. His son, Mr. David Courtney, was a passenger (in the aft seat) for this flight. The aircraft was a Walter D. Courtney, N78WC, serial number 1648. Model Courtney Two is an experimental, amateur built aircraft, registered to and built by Mr. Walter D. Courtney. At 1710 central daylight time, N78WC was on approach to land on Runway 18 at Canton Ingersoll Airport. Witnesses observed that just prior to touchdown, the aircraft made a very abrupt right turn, flying a few feet above ground, in a westward direction. The aircraft hit a tree causing it to turn inverted and impact the ground. The aircraft slid approximately thirty feet until it came to rest in a cyclone fence. The pilot received fatal injuries and the passenger sustained minor head injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.


The pilot-in-command, Walter D. Courtney, received fatal injuries. His son, who was the passenger occupying the aft seat, received minor injuries.


The aircraft received substantial damage in the accident. No fire or explosion occurred. The left wing, canopy, and propeller were destroyed.


The aircraft struck a tree, which it tore down, and it impacted a cyclone fence.


Mr. Walter D. Courtney, the pilot-in-command, held a Commercial Pilot Certificate with airplane single and multiengine land, airplane single engine sea, and instrument airplane ratings. He also held a Flight Instructor Certificate, airplane single engine rating and repairman certificates for the following experimental aircraft:

Make-Courtney, Walter D. Model-Courtney Two (Vari-EZE) Serial Number-1648 Certification Date-08/28/80

Make-Owen One Model-Teenie Two Serial Number-510037 Certification Date-06/10/75


The aircraft, a Walter D. Courtney, N78WC, serial number 1648, is an experimental aircraft built by Mr. Walter D. Courtney. The Airworthiness Certificate was issued January 30, 1979. The kit name, Vari-EZE, was a single reciprocating engine, with a seating capacity of two.


Mr. Walter D. Courtney received fatal injuries. The autopsy report revealed that the actual cause of death was Traumatic Asphyxia due to, or as a consequence of, the airplane crash. Toxicology was also performed with negative results.

The autopsy was conducted by the Fulton County, Illinois, Physician, Sharon I. Schnittker, M.D.

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