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N715MP accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Grants, NM
35.147260°N, 107.851447°W
Tail number N715MP
Accident date 03 Oct 2001
Aircraft type Hamilton Genesis
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 3, 2001, at 1220 mountain daylight time, a Hamilton Genesis, experimental homebuilt airplane, N715MP, impacted the terrain following a loss of engine power during climb to cruise near Grants, New Mexico. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot under Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant, received serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the planned cross-country flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed Grants at 1215, with a flight planned route to Gallup, New Mexico; Winslow, Arizona; Flagstaff, Arizona; and Kingman, Nevada.

During a telephone interview, conducted by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that during climb, at a power setting of 7,000 rpm, and an airspeed of 85-90 mph, the airplane cleared the rising terrain approximately 2 miles from the airport. When the airplane was about 2.5 miles from the airport, the engine would not maintain the rpm, and the airplane descended to 250-300 feet agl. The pilot observed a ravine, boulders, and rising terrain in the vicinity of the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane stalled, hit a boulder, and slid 10-15 feet up the terrain before coming to rest. The pilot secured the cockpit switches and exited the airplane. The pilot reported the weather was clear, and that the accident site was 3.23 miles on a magnetic heading of 290 degrees from the Grants-Milan Municipal Airport.

The FAA inspectors, who responded to the site, found the airplane resting upright on a slope. The lower fuselage was crushed upward, and the door support structures were bent and twisted. The left main landing gear was found separated from the airframe. The inspectors reported that "the throttle cable may have slipped causing the loss of engine rpm." The inspectors were able to move the cable 1/2-inch in the engine compartment when the throttle control was full forward in the cockpit. The engine was "not seized." Oil was found in the engine, coolant in the radiator, and fuel in the fuel system. No contaminates or debris were found in the fuel filters, carburetors, or fuel tanks.

The airplane was inspected and issued an airworthiness certificate on May 11, 2000. The airframe was equipped with the Rotax, model 618, 2 cycle air cooled engine, and a 72-inch wooden propeller. A BRS-5 Emergency Parachute System was installed.

Maintenance records, reviewed by the FAA inspector, revealed that the last condition inspection was performed on May 11, 2000. The pilot reported that the aircraft had accumulated 69 hours total flight time. The airplane had not been flown in several months; however, the engine had been started periodically while the airplane was stored in Iowa. The purpose of the flight was to fly the airplane from Iowa to Nevada. The pilot had flown to Grants with no engine discrepancies.

The operator's manual for the Rotax engine states in part: DANGER! This engine by design, is subject to sudden stoppage! Engine stoppage can result in crash landings. Such crash landings can lead to serious bodily injury or death. Never fly the aircraft equipped with this engine at locations, airspeeds, altitudes, or other circumstances from which a successful no-power landing cannot be made, after sudden engine stoppage.

Numerous attempts to obtain a completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) were unsuccessful.

NTSB Probable Cause

the loose throttle cable resulting in a partial loss of engine power. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to perform the required yearly condition inspection prior to flight and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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