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N49TK accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Alanson, MI
45.444178°N, 84.786711°W
Tail number N49TK
Accident date 08 Jun 1995
Aircraft type Tom Kilgore KR-2
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On June 8, 1995, at 1751 eastern daylight time (edt), a Tom Killgore KR-2, N49TK, piloted by an airline transport pilot, was destroyed when it collided with the ground following a witness reported flat spin. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot was fatally injured. The flight departed Harbor Springs, Michigan, at 1600 edt.

Witnesses described N49TK's engine as having problems, but did not specify what. Some witnesses said they saw the airplane coming down in large circles and/or in a nose dive. The airplane owner said the airplane "...appeared to land with a slightly nose low position almost parallel with the [ground], the impact appears to be vertical... ." He said he did not observe any sliding or skidding by N49TK.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Principal Maintenance Inspectors (PMI) representing the NTSB on-scene, "There were no lateral marks on the ground to indicate direction of the aircraft at impact." The PMI said N49TK's "...empennage was rotated laterally to the left." He said the spinner had upward direction crush damage and that one blade of the wooden propeller was broken off.

The PMI said the airplane had a fuselage fuel tank that was positioned above the forward section of the airplane's cockpit. He said no fuel was found in the airplane's fuel tank, fuselage structure, or in the ground beneath the fuel tank. The PMI said he did not find fuel stains on the internal structure of the airframe.

Examination of N49TK's flight control system showed no evidence of failure. The engine showed no evidence of mechanical failure. The carburetor was removed from the engine and disassembled. According to the PMI, the "...sediment bowl was empty, the quick drain [had been] pushed open and deformed by the impact." He said the fuel tank had ruptured in two places and that "No fuel was found in any of the fuel lines to and from the sediment bowl." N49TK's weight and balance were within the builder's prescribed limits according to the PMI.

During a conversation with the airplane's builder/owner (owner) it was revealed that the pilot had a personal flight test program he had set up for the accident airplane. The accident pilot's wife stated her husband had told her that N49TK was an unstable airplane. She stated he viewed flying the airplane as a challenge to make it work. She said he told her the engine had quit during a previous flight.

According to the pilot's FAA medical records, he had had a history of myocardial infarct and coronary artery bypass grafts about five years before the accident, but had ben cleared by the FAA for flying. The pilot's autopsy was performed at the Blodgett Memorial Medical Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 9, 1995, by Dr. Stephen Cohle. The cause of death, according to the autopsy, was multiple injuries and arteriosclerosis cardiovascular disease. The FAA's Civil Aeromedical Institute's toxicology examination was negative for carbon monoxide, cyanide, volatiles, and drugs.

NTSB Probable Cause

improper planning/decision by the pilot, which resulted in fuel exhaustion due to an inadequate supply of fuel, and failure of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane, which resulted in a stall/spin and collision with the ground.

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