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N256DN accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Waconia, MN
44.852462°N, 93.823299°W
Tail number N256DN
Accident date 01 Jul 2000
Aircraft type Norton VOLKSPLANE VP-1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On July 1, 2000, at 1000 central daylight time, an experimental amateur built Norton Volksplane VP-1, N256DN, piloted by a commercial pilot, was destroyed on impact with terrain during climbout from runway 27 (2,700 feet by 100 feet, turf) at Molnau Airpark Airport, Waconia, Minnesota. 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 was originating at the time of the accident.

A witness reported, "I heard the plane first before I saw him. He came over the last hanger at the airport and flew over me. He was climbing up into the air when he went to make what looked like a small turn when all of a sudden he turned and went straight down. It didn't look like he was having any trouble before that. I didn't see the crash because he went behind a tree line that blocked him from my view..."

A second witness reported, "I saw the plane when it was approx. 150 to 200 feet in the air and slipping toward the ground. The motor was running normal when it fell from my view and the plane was silent. My friend and myself knew it must have crashed as it was too low to recover from the slide..."

A third witness reported, "I heard and aircraft departing Rwy 27 @ Waconia, MN (1MN5). It was between 150 and 200 ft above the ground in a rt wing low nose up attitude, quickly changing to nose down vertically. The engine was loud as in full power with no change in sound. The hill between me and the site of the crash prohibited me from seeing the last 20 feet of the aircraft's flight path. There was no crash sound or smoke..."


The 48-year-old pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with airplane single engine land and instrument ratings. He also held a certified flight instructor certificate with and an airplane single engine land rating. A total flight time of 400 hours was reported on the application of his third class medical certificate on August 4, 1999, which had the restriction, "must have available glasses for near vision."


The airplane was manufactured by the pilot and was registered as an experimental amateur built on March 25, 1999. The airplane received a special airworthiness certificate on May 9, 2000. The tail wheel airplane was constructed of wood and fabric and has a useful load of 210 lbs.


Flight control continuity and engine continuity was established by the Federal Aviation Administration. Fuel was present in the fuel pump lines and in the carburetor. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preexisting anomalies.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Minnesota Regional Coroner's Office, Hastings, Minnesota.

Federal Aviation Administration toxicological test results of the pilot were negative for all substances tested.


Advisory Circular 61-21A, Flight Training Handbook, states under Stall Characteristics, "...when the airplane is in a nose-high turning attitude, the angle of bank has a tendency to increase. This occurs because with the airspeed decreasing, the airplane begins flying in a smaller and smaller arc. Since the outer wing is moving in a larger radius and thus traveling faster than the inner wing, it has more lift and causes an overbanking tendency. At the same time, because of the decreasing lift on both wings, the pitch attitude tends to lower. ..."


The Federal Aviation Administration was a party to the investigation.

The wreckage and all parts were released on July 11, 2000.

NTSB Probable Cause

the inadvertent stall by the pilot. The low attitude at the time of the stall was a contributing factor.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.