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Pilot In Oregon Accident Had No Pilot Certificate

Wittman Tailwind Was Severely Damaged, Pilot Survived

The pilot of a Wittman Tailwind which went down January 28th in Prospect, OR had no pilot certificate, according to the NTSB.

In its preliminary report, the board said that the plane went down at about 1750 local time on the day of the accident. The Whittman Tailwind 8-W Modified experimental amateur-built airplane, N12037, was substantially damaged after impacting terrain following a partial loss of engine power and forced landing about 2 miles south of Prospect State Airport (64S), Prospect, OR. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed 64S about 5 minutes prior to the accident.

According to local law enforcement personnel and first responders, the pilot reported that he had purchased the airplane the previous week, had assembled it the day prior to the accident, and he had worked on the engine just prior to the flight. Shortly after taking off to the south and at an altitude of about 200 ft above ground level, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot, unable to maintain altitude, made a forced landing about 2 miles south of the departure airport. During the landing sequence the airplane was substantially damaged after colliding with a stand of trees. It subsequently came to rest in an upright position and slightly on its left side. The airplane will be recovered to a secured location for further examination.

The pilot was identified as 34-year-old Steven Paul Dawson Jr. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told the paper that they were unable to find any evidence that Dawson had ever received any formal pilot training.

This was reportedly not Dawson's first time to fly an airplane that was in poor condition with no formal training. One had been purchased from an air museum in California which required Dawson to sign a waiver in which he said he would never fly the aircraft.

Dawson did not pay for hangar space, but, according to the paper, "more or less squatted at the airport" and avoided the office, waiting until it was closed before attempting to fly. After one of his previous incidents at the airport, he told first responders he had learned to fly by watching videos on YouTube.

It is not known if Dawson has any charges currently pending against him.

(Image posted to Wikipedia by FlugKerl2. Not accident airplane)

FMI: Source report

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