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N4033G accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 44.847777°N, 120.410278°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Fossil, OR
44.998186°N, 120.216137°W
14.1 miles away
Tail number N4033G
Accident date 01 Sep 2004
Aircraft type Helio Aircraft LTD H800
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 1, 2004, approximately 1235 Pacific daylight time, a Helio Aircraft LTD H800, single-engine airplane, N4033G, was destroyed after impacting terrain following takeoff-initial climb approximately 14 nautical miles southwest of Fossil, Oregon. The airplane was registered to Schmidt Aviation Inc., of Boring, Oregon, and operated by a private individual. The certificated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight, which was conducted in accordance with 14 CFR Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that he intended to make a short flight of approximately 5 miles to a friend's ranch. The pilot stated that flight conditions were favorable with light winds, and that immediately after becoming airborne he realized that he had inadvertently failed to remove the exterior aileron wing locks. The pilot reported that immediately after realizing this, "...I made the decision to get the plane back on the ground as quick as possible." The pilot stated that he was about 75 to 100 feet above ground level (AGL) when he reduced power and lowered the nose to maintain airspeed and a wings level attitude. The pilot further stated that while in his descent and about 75 feet AGL, the left wing started to drop slowly and eventually impacted the ground at an approximate 30 to 35 degree left bank. There was no post crash fire.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector, who traveled to the accident site, reported the aft fuselage/tail section had been severed aft of the rear cabin bulkhead, coming to rest vertically against the right underside area of the forward fuselage. The forward fuselage, comprising the cabin and cockpit areas, came to rest in a vertical position resting on the forward cockpit area and both leading edge wings. The leading edges of both wings were wrinkled and crushed aft. The inspector also reported that the left and right wing gust locks were located approximately 10 and 15 feet on the ground outboard of their respective wingtips.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to remove the aileron wing gust locks prior to flight, which resulted in a loss of control during the descent/emergency landing. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight.

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