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