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NTSB Releases Preliminary Report From Michigan Fatal Accident

Aero Commander Was Being Tested Following Maintenance

The NTSB has released a preliminary report from an accident which occurred August 20 that resulted in the fatal injury of two people on board the aircraft.

According to the report, at about 11:18 EDT, an Aero Commander (Meyers) 200D airplane, N200HS, impacted terrain shortly after departing the Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy Airport (OZW), Howell, Michigan. The pilot and pilot rated passenger received fatal injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Southern Aircraft Consultancy, Inc, Trustee, Norfolk, United Kingdom, and operated by a private individual. VFR conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the  maintenance test flight.

According to initial reports, the airplane had recently undergone maintenance, including the installation of a new field overhauled engine and a 3-bladed propeller. The purpose of the flight was for a maintenance test flight for the airplane. The pilot-rated passenger, seated in the right seat, was also a mechanic who had performed the recent work on the airplane. The pilot, seated in the left seat, owned a similar airplane make and model.

The airplane was flown earlier in the day. The airplane was then fueled with 34.4 gallons of fuel. It is unknown if any adjustments or maintenance items were accomplished before the second flight.

Witnesses reported that the airplane departed runway 13 at OZW; they added that when the airplane was about 200 to 300 ft in the air, the airplane appeared to stop its climb and was silent. One witness reported that it looked like the airplane tried to turn back to the runway, before entering a rapid descent.

The airplane impacted terrain and came to rest about 600 ft beyond the departure end of the runway. The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge, and a technical representative from the engine manufacturer examined the airplane wreckage on site. The examination found the engine air filter element was displaced and in the engine intake tube.

(Images provided with NTSB preliminary report)

FMI: Report

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