Pilot Landed On Remaining Runway After First Takeoff Attempt,
Went Down On Second
The NTSB's preliminary report for an accident involving a Kitfox
in which two people were fatally injured offers few clues as to
what may have gone wrong. A witness told investigators that the
pilot said he would be making a "short landing" following a takeoff
attempt, and later heard the same pilot announce a "straight out"
departure from Caldwell Industrial Airport (KEUL), in Caldwell, ID.
That second takeoff resulted in the pilot and his wife being
fatally injured when the Kitfox, which the pilot had built in 2008,
went down. The couple had attended a fly-in for Kitfox builders and
NTSB Identification: WPR11FA428
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2011 in Caldwell, ID
Aircraft: Veatch Kitfox, registration: N624JS
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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.
On September 4, 2011, about 0832 mountain daylight time, an
experimental amateur-built Kitfox 7, N624JS, was substantially
damaged when it impacted airport property shortly after takeoff
from Caldwell Industrial Airport (EUL), Caldwell, Idaho. The
certificated private pilot/owner and the passenger received fatal
injuries. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological
conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the
The pilot and airplane were based at Rio Vista Municipal Airport
(O88), Rio Vista, California. The pilot and his wife departed O88
on September 2 for Idaho, where they visited relatives, and
attended a Kitfox fly-in. According to information provided by
Lockheed Martin Flight Services (LMFS), the pilot planned to depart
EUL at 0830 on September 4, with a planned stop in Lovelock,
Nevada, and a final destination of O88. A pilot in a Cessna who
taxied out behind N624JS stated that at "exactly 0800" he observed
N624JS takeoff from runway 12, climb to about 50 feet, and then
heard the pilot announce he was making a "short landing" on the
remaining runway. He observed N624JS land and turn off onto the
runup area for runway 30. The Cessna pilot then departed runway 12.
About 30 minutes later, the Cessna pilot heard the pilot of N624JS
announce a "straight out" departure from runway 30.
The airplane came to rest in a near-vertical attitude, about 750
feet northeast of the threshold of runway 12. The wreckage was
tightly contained, and except for the propeller and hub, no major
components, including flight controls and surfaces, were found
separated from the wreckage. The propeller reduction gearbox was
fragmented, and the propeller hub was under, but separated from,
the engine. All three blades of the composite propeller were
cracked, but remained attached to the hub. The engine cowl, nose
gear, cockpit, and the leading edges of the wings exhibited
significant crush damage in the aft direction. The aft fuselage
exhibited moderate buckling. Both wing fuel tanks were ruptured.
The positions of the flaps and the pitch trim tab could not be
determined. When the aft fuselage was lowered to the ground, the
airplane was aligned on an approximate magnetic heading of 270
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records indicated that the
airplane was built by the pilot in 2008. It was equipped with a
Rotax 912ULS 100 hp engine. FAA records indicated that the pilot
held a private pilot certificate with a single-engine land rating.
His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in
December 2010. Review of the pilot's personal flight log indicated
that his most recent flight review was completed in the accident
airplane in February 2011, and that as of the date of the accident,
he had about 160 hours in the airplane.
FAA records indicated that the EUL elevation was 2,432 feet
above mean sea level, and that the single asphalt runway measured
5,500 feet by 100 feet. The EUL 0835 automated weather observation
included winds from 110 degrees at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles;
clear skies; temperature 9 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of
30.12 inches of mercury.