Pilot Was Reported To 'Buzz' His Home Often
Such subjects have been in the news an awful lot this year, but
it appears that an accident last month may, ultimately, be chalked
up to an unsuccessful 'buzz' job. The pilot was a "longtime" Las
Cruces, NM, resident.
Robert Steinmetz, a local physical therapist in Las Cruces for a
number of years was killed when one of his aircraft's wings
contacted the ground close to his home. Steinmetz, 54, was flying
an experimental Rotax powered Zenair STOL CH-701, (FILE photo,
above) that he built himself, when he impacted the ground,
'cartwheeling' the airplane.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 15, 2007 in Las Cruces,
Aircraft: Garniss STOL 701, registration: N45500
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On December 15, 2007, at 1641 mountain standard time, a Garniss
STOL 701, N45500, piloted by a sport pilot, was destroyed when the
it struck terrain while maneuvering on the outskirts of Las Cruces,
New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time
of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the
provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot
was fatally injured. The local flight originating at an
undetermined time from Las Cruces (LRU), New Mexico.
According to an FAA inspector, the pilot purchased the airplane
approximately 2 months ago. His daughters told the inspector that
every time he flew, he would "buzz" his house and "wig wag" his
wings. He was wig wagging his wings when the left wing tip struck
the ground and the airplane cartwheeled.