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NTSB Releases Preliminary Report From Mustang II Accident

Two Fatally Injured When The Plane Went Down

The NTSB has released a preliminary report from an accident involving an unregistered experimental, amateur-built Mustang II airplane on January 25 which resulted in the fatal injury of the two people on board.

The aircraft was destroyed when it impacted terrain on a personal flight near Big 'T' Airport (64GA), Senoia, Georgia.

The pilot of the aircraft was 43-year-old Mark Nowosielski. He held an ATP rating and was part of the Twin Tigers aerobatic team. The passenger was Nathan Sorenson, the 13-year-old son of his Twin Tigers partner Mark Sorenson.

The NTSB said in the report that according to witnesses and video recorded from a witness, the airplane had been flying over the local area for about 15 minutes when it then performed a barrel roll. Shortly after the barrel roll, the canopy opened and struck the vertical stabilizer and right horizontal stabilizer. The airplane subsequently descended nose-down and impacted terrain about .5 mile south of 64GA.

The owner of the airplane stated that he purchased it from a Canadian citizen about 1 week prior to the accident. The owner further stated that the accident pilot was a good friend and fellow airline pilot. The accident pilot accompanied the owner to receive the airplane. The owner only had about 15 minutes of experience in the airplane and the accident pilot had about 55 hours of experience in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The owner further stated that the canopy latch was not intuitive, and the accident pilot had to show him how to operate it. A knob had to be rotated approximately 180° clockwise to secure the latch, and then rotated 180° counterclockwise to release the latch. The accident pilot was allowed to use the airplane when he wanted, and the accident flight was a local pleasure flight.

The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration first class medical certificate was issued on October 24, 2019. At that time, he reported a total flight experience of 11,000 hours.

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tailwheel airplane was assembled from a kit in 1980. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-360, 180-horespower engine, equipped with a two-blade, constant-speed Hartzell propeller. Review of maintenance records revealed that the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed in Canada on May 29, 2019. At that time, the airframe had accrued a total time of 1,379.5 hours and the engine had 0 hours since major overhaul.

The wreckage came to rest nose down in a wooded area. All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident scene, which the exception of the canopy, vertical stabilizer, and outboard section of the right horizontal stabilizer, which were located about .25 mile north of the main wreckage. The propeller separated from the engine, but both blades remained in the hub. One propeller blade exhibited tip curling, chordwise scratching, and leading edge gouging. The other propeller blade exhibited s-bending near the tip.

The canopy latch was retained for further examination. Additionally, the witness video was forwarded to the National Transportation Safety Board Vehicle Recorders Laboratory, Washington, DC for further examination.

(Source: NTSB)

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