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NTSB Releases Preliminary Report In Fatal Weight-Shift Aircraft Accident

Accident Occurred In Michigan July 23 During An Emergency Landing Attempt

The NTSB has released a preliminary report from an accident involving a Aeros Venture weight-shift accident in Michigan late last month which resulted in the fatal injury of the pilot.

According to the report, on July 23, 2018, about 1645 eastern daylight time, the light sport experimental category airplane, N43865, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control during an apparent emergency landing on a rural roadway about 1 mile west of the Huron County Memorial Airport, Bad Axe, Michigan. The pilot died at the scene. The light sport airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules flight when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Huron County Memorial Airport about 1642, and it was destined for the pilot's home located about 1.5 miles northwest of the airport.

During on scene and subsequent telephone interviews with three aviation safety inspectors from the FAA East Michigan Flight Standards District Office, witnesses consistently reported seeing the accident light sport airplane in a spiraling, descending turn as it maneuvered towards the rural roadway. As the light sport airplane continued to descend and neared the roadway, the wings momentarily leveled, and it immediately became inverted. The witnesses said that as the light sport airplane began to recover, it struck a tall stand of trees that bordered the rural roadway, sustaining substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

According to a family member, the pilot recently purchased the accident light sport airplane, which required that it be disassembled and trailered to his home. The family member reported that the accident flight was either the pilot's first or second flight since the purchase. FAA inspectors confirmed the accident flight was the pilot's second flight of the day in the accident airplane.

The light sport airplane was equipped with a Volkswagen 1830 series engine.

A preliminary postaccident examination of the engine and airframe, by three FAA airworthiness aviation safety inspectors, revealed no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. A detailed wreckage examination is pending.

The closest official weather observation station to the accident site was located at the Huron County Memorial Airport, about 1 mile to the northeast. On July 23, 2018, at 1635, the station was reporting, in part: Wind 070°at 3 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; ceiling and clouds, 3,500 scattered, 4,200 scattered, 4,800 scattered; temperature 79° F; dew point 66° F; altimeter 29.91 inches of mercury.

(Source: NTSB. Image from file. Not accident aircraft)

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