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N43KA accident description

Vermont map... Vermont list
Crash location 44.534444°N, 72.613889°W
Nearest city Morrisville, VT
44.561719°N, 72.598449°W
2.0 miles away
Tail number N43KA
Accident date 07 Sep 2009
Aircraft type HEBERT Kitfox Speedster
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 7, 2009, about 1630 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Hebert Kitfox Speedster, N43KA, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground, after it experienced a loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff, from Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (MVL), Morrisville, Vermont. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, after a normal pre-takeoff engine run-up, the airplane departed from runway 1, a 3,701-foot-long, by 75-foot-wide, asphalt runway. As the airplane climbed to an altitude of about 100 feet, it experienced a momentary loss of engine power, which was followed by a total loss of engine power. The airplane was in a left turn, at a "low airspeed," when the left wing "started to drop." The airplane subsequently struck, and came to rest on hay bales, about 350 feet from the end of the runway. The engine was pushed aft into the firewall, and the airframe sustained significant distortion.

Initial examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector did not reveal any obvious preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The pilot reported he added 10 gallons of fuel to the airplane prior to takeoff, and evidence of a fuel spill was present at the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 912 series non-certificated engine, which was retained for further examination.

The engine was subsequently examined at Rotech Flight Safety, Vernon, British Columbia, under the supervision of an NTSB investigator. The examination did not reveal any mechanical deficiencies which would have resulted in a complete loss of engine power.

According to FAA records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate on September 18, 1995. The pilot, who was also the builder, reported that at the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated for about 510 total hours, and 3 hours since its most recent condition inspection, which was performed on March 1, 2009.

The pilot reported 1,150 hours of total flight experience, which included 500 hours in the accident airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on July 26, 2009.

A weather observation taken at MVL, about the time of the accident, reported: wind from 310 degrees at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; few clouds at 4,700 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 12 degrees C; altimeter 30.17 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power during the initial climb after takeoff for undetermined reasons.

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