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Fri, May 26, 2006

Engine Failure Blamed In Lancair-IV Accident

Two Lost As Airplane Goes Down After Takeoff

NTSB investigators working near Pittsburgh, PA believe engine failure led to the fatal crash of a Lancair-IV earlier this month.

The accident occurred May 10 at the Somerset County Airport (2G9), as 53-year old Dave Hickman and 59-year old Richard Reitz were flying from their hometown of Saint Petersburg, FL to Utah. As they took off from Somerset County, the NTSB says the aircraft (file photo of type, above) pitched up 20 to 30-degrees and the gear retracted.

Witnesses report that seconds later, black smoke billowed from the exhaust port, and the engine quit. Witnesses tell investigators Hickman tried to bank left and return to the field, but the plane pitched over and slammed into the ground. Both persons onboard where killed in the crash.

The NTSB says the airframe had 27 flight hours on it, and had just completed the FAA's Phase I flight testing period.

The engine and its accessories were moved to an engine overhaul facility in Mattituck, NY for further examination.
A final report on the mishap is still a year or so away.

FMI: Read The Full NTSB Preliminary Report

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