NTSB Report Out On Air Plane Crash That Killed Jogger <

 

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NTSB Report Out On Air Plane Crash That Killed Jogger

By Mike Mitchell
 
 

March 30, 2010 - On March 15th, about 6 PM eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Smith Lancair IV-P, N9JE, registered to and operated by a private owner, lost engine power during cruise flight near Hilton Head, South Carolina, and struck a pedestrian while making a forced landing on a beach. The aircraft was piloted by Edward Ivey Smith, age 59 of Chesapeake, Virginia.

Robert Gary Jones, 38, who was in South Carolina on a business trip, had been walking along the beach while listening to his iPod when the amateur-built aircraft stuck and killed him on impact. Jones was a pharmaceutical salesman of Woodstock, Georgia.

The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane sustained minor damage. NTSB reported the weather was visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), Orlando, Florida, to Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG), Norfolk, Virginia.

The pilot stated that during cruise flight at 13,000 feet over the shore, he observed the instrument panel beginning to vibrate heavily. Oil began to cover the wind screen, followed by a loud "bang". The nose of the airplane pitched up and the engine stopped. The pilot reported the problem to air traffic control and maneuvered the airplane to make an emergency landing on a nearby beach.

According to a witness, he watched as the airplane made a series of unusual turns. He did not realize that the airplane was in distress at the time, but continued to follow its movements. The airplane descended on a right base as it flew perpendicular to the beach. As the airplane descended it flew directly over the witness and he noticed that the airplane had an engine-out emergency. The airplane touched down approximately 200 feet in front of the witness, in an area where there were several pedestrians. The airplane came to rest at the water's edge and a fallen pedestrian was observed lying on the beach.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest on a beach. The airframe was intact, and all flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Further examination of the airplane revealed that the propeller assembly separated from the crankshaft flange and was missing. The airplane was recovered from the beach and examination of the engine was scheduled for a later date.

 
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