Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN13LA514

Emporia, KS, USA

Aircraft #1

unreg

CHALLENGER II

Analysis

The pilot was ferrying the experimental, amateur-built airplane back to his home airport. As he approached an en route airport, part of the right wing folded up, and the airplane spiraled down. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest near a creek. The airplane did not have an airworthiness certificate or registration number. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preexisting damage that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot did not have any of the airplanes previous records; the reason for the right wing folding could not be determined.

Factual Information

On August 28, 2013, about 1130, central daylight time, an unregistered, light sport Challenger II airplane, impacted trees and terrain near the Emporia Municipal Airport (KEMP), Emporia, Kansas. The airline transport rated pilot, sole occupant, received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed Herington Regional Airport (KHRU) at an unknown time and was en route to Joplin, Missouri. According to the pilot, he had just purchased the airplane and was in process of flying the airplane back to his home airfield. As he approached KEMP, part of the right wing folded up, and the airplane descended in a spiral. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest near a creek. The pilot reported that the engine was still running and was able to exit the airplane to get help. The airplanes experimental-amateur built data plate annotated the airplane as a Challenger II UL trainer, serial number CH2-0600-R-1983, with a date of manufacture of 06/02/2002 and listed an individual builder. The data plate also listed the empty weight as 358 lbs and an 800 lbs gross weight. There was no record of an experimental-light sport airworthiness certificate, or aircraft registration in accordance with the Light Sport Aircraft rule, that was effective January 2008. The accident pilot added that he did not have any of the airplanes previous owner records. The airplane was recovered to the Emporia airport, where inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration, examined the airplane. The inspectors examined the fractured airframes tubing. They reported that all of the fractured surfaced indicated static overload. The inspectors were unable to find any fatigue cracks or anomalies with the airframe that would account for the wing failure

Probable Cause and Findings

The right wing’s folding up in flight for reasons that could not be determined because an examination did not reveal any abnormalities with the airframe that would have precluded normal operation.

 

Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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