Skystar Kitfox 4, N602JT: Accident occurred July 22, 2012 in Crosslake, Minnesota

http://registry.faa.gov/N602JT

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA466
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Cross Lake, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: TOMAN JACK JR SKYSTAR KITFOX 4, registration: N602JT
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was observed flying low and slow over a lake. The airplane stalled and entered a spin before it impacted the water. The passenger was able to exit the airplane on his own, but the pilot was pinned in the wreckage. A first responder was able to keep the pilot’s head above the water until an ambulance arrived, but the pilot later succumbed to his injuries. Examination of the airplane and engine found no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The medical examiner found drug paraphernalia in the pilot’s shirt pocket. Postaccident toxicology testing was consistent with impairment of the pilot due to his use of marijuana prior to the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s impairment due to marijuana.

On July 22, 2012, at 0951 central daylight time, an experimental-amateur built Sky Star Kitfox 4 sustained substantial damage after it lost control and impacted Upper Whitefish Lake near Cross Lake, Minnesota. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. No flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed from Pine River Regional Airport (PWC), Pine River, Minnesota, at 0938. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The passenger stated the purpose of the flight was to look for fishing spots in the lake and check out some property on the shoreline. The passenger said that as they headed toward the shoreline, the airplane was in a slight nose up attitude and climbing, but he did not recall how fast they were going. The doors of the airplane were open, and the passenger was looking outside “watching everything.” Up to this point, it was a normal flight. He said that the airplane then suddenly jerked violently to the left, rolled, and spun down toward the lake. As soon as they hit the water, the passenger unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the airplane. Almost immediately, a boat pulled up and he was lifted onto the boat.

There were several eyewitnesses who saw the airplane spin toward the water. One witness, who had taken flight lessons, was in his boat when he first observed the airplane. He said it was flying about twice the height of the tree tops and was headed east. The witness said the airplane’s attitude was tail down and nose high. The airplane appeared to be “wallowing” and about to stall. The witness momentarily took his eyes off the airplane, but when he looked back up, the airplane was spinning nose down toward the water. He immediately drove his boat to the accident site and assisted the passenger and the pilot.

A handheld Garmin global positioning system (GPS) was found in the airplane and sent to the Safety Board’s Research and Engineering laboratory in Washington DC to be downloaded. The accident flight was recorded from the time it departed Pine River Regional Airport at 0938.28 up until 0951.13 when the unit stopped recording. A review of the last minute of the flight revealed that at 0950:20, the airplane was at an altitude of 1,624 feet mean sea level (msl), or approximately 328 feet above the water headed southeast at a ground speed of 39 knots. Over the next 53 seconds, the airplane began to make a shallow descent to 1,496 feet msl (approximately 200 feet above the water) and slowed to a ground speed of 34 knots before the data ended just northwest of the shoreline.

Examination of the airplane by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors revealed the airframe sustained substantial damage from impact with the water. No pre-impact mechanical anomalies were noted.

According to the pilot’s autopsy report, the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries resulting from an airplane crash. No significant natural disease was identified, but the medical examiner identified an object found in the left shirt pocket as a “one hit” pipe.

The toxicology results from an independent lab used by the medical examiner found evidence of tetrahydrocannabinol (Marijuana) in the urine and performed a test that quantified the amount in the pilot’s peripheral blood with a result of 0.0056 ug/ml ,along with 0.0059 ug/ml of its primary metabolite, tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid.

Femoral and heart blood was sent to the FAA’s Civil AeroMedical Institute’s toxicology lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, along with tissue specimens. The CAMI lab found the blood unsuitable for the quantification of tetrahydrocannabinol. However, 0.046 ug/ml of tetrahydrocannabinol was found in lung and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid, the primary metabolite, was found in urine (0.0952 ug/ml), liver (0.0873 ug/ml), lung (0.0094 ug/ml), and blood (0.0111 ug/ml).

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA466
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 22, 2012 in Cross Lake, MN
Aircraft: TOMAN JACK JR SKYSTAR KITFOX 4, registration: N602JT
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 22, 2012, at 1103 central daylight time, an experimental-amateur built Sky Star Kitfox 4 sustained substantial damage after it lost control and impacted the water near Cross Lake, Minnesota. The private pilot was fatally injured and the passenger was seriously injured. No flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed from Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BRD), Brainerd, Minnesota, and an undetermined time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the airplane and talked to several witnesses. According to the inspector, the airplane was observed flying about 300-500 feet above the lake and it appeared to be in a slight climb. The airplane then banked hard to the left and entered a nose dive into the water. The airplane sustained substantial damage to most of the airframe.

CROW WING COUNTY, Minn. – Authorities have identified the man who died in a Sunday morning plane crash near Brainerd. 

The Crow Wing County sheriff’s office says Dan Morgan Steffen, 55, died after the experimental airplane he was flying crashed into Upper Whitefish Lake Sunday morning.

Steffen was featured in a story on KARE 11 in October of 1995. The story, by veteran reporter Ken Speake and photojournalist Mark Anderson, told of a special relationship Steffen had with a Canadian goose named Daisy.

The day after the fatal plane crash, Speake returned to KARE 11 to talk to Julie Nelson about his memories of that story.

The only other passenger on the plane at the time of the crash, 61-year-old Frederick Graham Hammer Jr., suffered non-life threatening injuries and is expected to recover.

Story, photo and video:    http://www.kare11.com

The family of the man who survived a deadly plane crash is offering sympathy to the pilot’s family.

Authorities have identified the pilot as 55-year-old Dan Steffen of Crosslake.

Steffen was killed when the small plane went down Sunday on Upper Whitefish Lake, about 25 miles north of Brainerd.

His passenger, 61-year-old Frederick Hammer Junior survived the crash, and is expected to recover.

One man is dead and another injured after a small plane crashed Sunday on Upper Whitefish Lake, about 25 miles north of Brainerd.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office says it was called to the east end of the lake near the peninsula just before 10 a.m. Sunday.

According to the FAA the Skystar Kitfox 4 fixed-wing, single-engine plane was submerged about 75 miles offshore.

The pilot, a 55 year-old Crosslake man was pronounced dead on the scene. His passenger, a 61 year-old Crosslake man, was transported to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, the FAA and NTSB are looking into the cause of the crash.
No one else was hurt.

Upper Whitefish Lake is part of the Whitefish chain of Lakes near Crosslake. The area is heavily populated in the summer with cabin goers and vacationers.

FAA IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 602JT        Make/Model: EXP       Description: EXP- KITFOX
  Date: 07/22/2012     Time: 1442

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
  City: CROSS LAKE   State: MN   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES. CROSS LAKE, MN

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   1
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Pleasure      Phase: Maneuver      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: MINNEAPOLIS, MN  (GL15)               Entry date: 07/23/2012

 

 http://kstp.com/news/stories/S2699274.shtml?cat=1

 

One person died and another was injured after a small airplane crashed Sunday into Upper Whitefish Lake near Crosslake.

The crash was reported to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office at 9:52 a.m., and witnesses indicated there were two occupants in the plane.

The pilot, a 55-year-old Crosslake man, was pronounced dead at the scene after resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office reported. The passenger, a 61-year-old Crosslake man, was treated at the scene before being transported to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center for serious injuries. The sheriff’s office was withholding the names of the pilot and passenger as of Sunday afternoon while family members are notified.

Roland Herwig, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Oklahoma City, said the airplane was a Skystar Kitfox 4 fixed-wing, single-engine plane.

“It appears to be an plane you build yourself,” Herwig said.

Herwig said he had no information about the cause of the crash. The airplane was submerged about 75 feet off shore, he said.

The FAA will be investigating the crash on-site, Herwig said, and the National Transportation Safety Board also has been notified of the crash.

Crow Wing County Sergent Chad Paulson said the cause of the the crash still remains unknown but the FAA is expected to arrive on scene late Sunday where the crash will be assessed.

“Hopefully based on witness statements and a look at the wreckage they (the FAA) will be able to determine a cause,” said Paulson.

Assisting the sheriff’s office at the scene were the Crosslake, Nisswa and Breezy Point police departments; the Minnesota State Patrol; the DNR; North Memorial Ambulance Service; Ideal and Crosslake fire departments; and first responders.

http://brainerddispatch.com/news/2012-07-22/pilot-killed-after-airplane-crashed-upper-whitefish-lake

A small experimental aircraft has crashed in Upper Whitefish Lake near Brainerd, killing the pilot and injuring a passenger, the Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed. 
The Skystar Kitfox 4 fixed-wing single-engine plane crashed the morning of Sunday, July 22, said FAA spokesman Roland Herwig in Oklahoma City.

The aircraft is submerged about 75 yards offshore, he said.

The FAA will investigate, and will report the crash to the National Transportation Safety Administration.

Herwig said he had no further details. Local authorities were releasing no information as of noon Sunday.

Information from the FAA website about the aircraft says it was amateur built in 2008

Story:  http://www.twincities.com