First Flight/Training Flight Results In Fatal Takeoff
If you're not sure of your ability to handle a new plane or
conditions, the safest bet is to get an instructor qualified
in the design/circumstances, and let them acclimate you to the new
situation. Usually, that would seem to be the best and safest
course of action. In this case, however, a fatal accident still
resulted though there is no current data in the report that
determines whether the CFI was properly qualified in this aircraft.
61-year-old James F. Miller of Gretna, LA, and 42-year-old Lt. Col.
Wendell Lee Collins, of Hickory, NC, lost their lives.
NTSB Identification: CEN09LA538
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 23, 2009 in Ama, LA
Aircraft: BROWN JOSEPH B JR RV-6, registration: N352JB
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
On August 23, 2009, approximately 1630 central daylight time, a
Brown RV-6, N352JB, was substantially damaged when it impacted a
tree during the takeoff roll at St. Charles Airport (LS40), Ama,
Louisiana. A post impact fire ensued. Visual meteorological
conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional
flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of
Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The private
pilot and commercial certificated flight instructor were fatally
injured. The local flight was originating at the time of the
According to local law enforcement, the private pilot had just
recently purchased the airplane, was anxious about flying the
airplane, and had elected to hire a flight instructor for
familiarization. According to a witness, the airplane taxied from
the hangar to the end of runway 35. The airplane remained at the
departure end of the runway for several minutes consistent with
performing a pretakeoff check. The airplane initiated a ground roll
and shortly thereafter, veered off of the runway to the right. The
witness lost sight of the airplane but observed smoke, in the
vicinity of where the airplane disappeared, shortly thereafter.
According to local law enforcement, the airplane impacted a tree
head on. A ground scar, consistent in width with the landing gear,
departed the runway edge and extended 315 feet to the point of
impact. The wreckage was recovered for further examination.