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N598HL accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Virginia, MN
47.523260°N, 92.536571°W
Tail number N598HL
Accident date 15 Jun 2002
Aircraft type Firm Kit Fox 4-1200
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 15, 2002, at 1400 central daylight time, an amateur built Firm Kit Fox 4-1200, N598HL, piloted by a private pilot was destroyed by a post impact fire following a forced landing near Virginia, Minnesota. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated at Tower Municipal Airport (12D), Tower, Minnesota, at 1350 central daylight time.

According to the pilot's written statement, during cruise flight at 800 feet above ground level (agl) he experienced a strong fuel odor followed by a loss of engine power and smoke over the windshield. The pilot stated, "I made a steep, descending right turn back to the lakebed. My airspeed was high enough to pull over a patch of dead standing trees on the edge of the lakebed. At this point, I noticed my windshield on the right side was starting to melt and discolor. I did not see any flames, but the smoke in the cabin was very thick. I touched down on the main wheels at about 20 miles per hour above stall speed and coasted on the mains for about 250 feet before the right main entered a wet area and dug in and flipped the plane onto its back." The pilot reported that the right wing fuel tank was on fire as he exited the aircraft. He stated that the right wing was engulfed in flames and that the cockpit, seats, windshield, and the left wing were burning. The airplane was destroyed during the post-impact fire.

The pilot reported that he found the charred remains of a bird among the engine remains. The pilot stated that the propeller spinner had impact damage and the fuel primer line and its supply line were severed.

NTSB Probable Cause

An in-flight collision with a bird that resulted in severed fuel lines and the subsequent in-flight fire and loss of engine power. A factor in the accident was the soft terrain condition.

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