Review Of Video Does Not Indicate That The Airplanes Collided In Flight
The NTSB has released its preliminary report in an accident over the Labor Day weekend involving an Aero Vodochody L39C which went down during an airshow in Quad Cities, IA. The accident fatally injured the pilot of the airplane, which was flying as part of a three-ship formation at the show. The preliminary report is based on review of video of the performance, as well as interviews with witnesses.
NTSB Identification: CEN12LA602
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Davenport, IA
Aircraft: AERO VODOCHODY L39C, registration: N139GS
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 September 1, 2012, approximately 1330 central daylight time, an Aero Vodochody L39C single-engine turbo-jet airplane, N139GS, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain while maneuvering during an air show performance at the Davenport Municipal Airport (DVN), Davenport, Iowa. The commercial pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was registered to the Warbird Education Foundation, Frisco, Texas, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an air show flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from DVN approximately 1315.
Preliminary video and witness information revealed the flight of three L-39 airplanes during their air show performance. Shortly before the accident, the three airplanes were traveling in a westerly direction away from the spectators. According to the lead pilot, the airplanes were executing a crossover break maneuver, which the accident airplane was in the left wing position. During the crossover break maneuver, the lead airplane first entered a climbing maneuver, the left wing airplane entered a right turn and then the right wing airplane entered a left turn with adequate longitudinal spacing. During the maneuver, the accident airplane entered the right turn, descended, and impacted the terrain. A post-impact fire ensued. No evidence of any in-flight collision with the other airplanes was observed.
Examination of the accident site by FAA inspectors showed the airplane was severely fragmented and consumed by fire. The main wreckage came to rest 1.2 miles from DVN in a field. The airplane was recovered from the field and brought to a secure location for further examination.
At 1347, the DVN automated surface observing system reported the wind from 070 degrees at 14 knots, visibility 9 miles, decreasing rain, scattered clouds at 2,300 feet, sky overcast at 4,000 feet, temperature 22 degrees Celsius, dew point 20 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 29.97 inches of Mercury.
(Hoppers L39 photo from file)