According to the pilot’s son, who was also a pilot, he and his father had recently purchased the Searey LSX. The day before the accident, they flew to Paine Field (KPAE) in Everett, Washington, to pick up the airplane, and flew it back to Logan Airport (KLGU) in Utah.
The pilot’s son said the airplane was relatively docile, noting it did not have the performance that their Husky airplane had.
On the day of the accident, the pilot’s son spoke to the pilot and invited him to overfly a house where he would be with friends having a barbeque. The son witnessed the airplane approach the house from the south and recalled the airplane was low, about 500 to 700 feet above ground level (agl) and flying about 40 knots groundspeed.
The pilot waved as he flew past, and then turned the airplane to the right, which was toward rising terrain.
The son noted that the turn was “tight…like how the pilot would fly his Husky airplane.”
As the airplane was turning, the right wing dropped. The wings then leveled, followed by the left wing dropping.
The son observed the wings level again, heard the engine increase in power, and observed the nose pitch up. The airplane began to climb and hit a neighboring house while in a nose high attitude. The airplane came to rest in the attic section of the house. The pilot died in the crash.
Another witness observed the airplane flying low (about 100 feet agl), and slow (about 50 to 60 knots). He noted the flightpath was erratic as it banked from left to right. He then observed the airplane bank sharply to the right about 45° to 60° as it turned 180° to the south, before it descended behind the house.
A third witness reported that the airplane approached what he described as a canyon or “bench” area above the property and turned right 180° toward terrain. He stated that although the bank angle was not excessive, it was more aggressive than required for a standard rate turn, presumably to avoid terrain. As the airplane rolled out, now on a heading of about 170°, the right wing and nose dropped. It appeared that the pilot was attempting a recovery, when the left wing dropped, and the airplane hit a house.
Examination of the engine revealed that both carburetors were excessively fuel-stained on their exteriors, and the rubber flange assemblies, located between the carburetors and the aluminum intakes, were torn.
The carburetor for cylinder Nos. 1 and 3 contained a black substance that stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
Examination of the spark plugs revealed they were not correct for the engine, and they were not gapped in accordance with Rotax specifications. Additionally, the electrodes appeared worn.
The engine was rotated by hand and displayed good thumb compression; the engine turned smoothly and without unusual noise coming from the case.
The airplane was equipped with a Dynon Skyview D700, a panel-mounted combination Electronic Flight Instrumentation System (EFIS) and Engine Monitoring System (EMS), and a Garmin GPSMAP 696, a portable GPS receiver capable of storing date, route-of-flight, and flight-time information for up to 50 flights. Both units were recovered and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for data extraction.
The data from the Garmin GPSMAP 696 revealed the airplane departed KLGU and then completed two oval-shaped patterns over the airport before heading toward the east/southeast. In the final 34 seconds of the flight, the airplane completed a 180° turn before the impact.
A review of the data from the Dynon Skyview D700 indicated that for the last 5 minutes of flight, the engine power remained relatively constant. Two slight decreases in power were noted as indicated by the engine RPM, exhaust gas temperature (EGT), and manifold pressure (MP) parameters.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s loss of airplane control while maneuvering at a low altitude, which resulted in a collision with a house.
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This June 2021 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.