Crews Worked On Aircraft's Engine Prior To Crash
Investigators are still working to determine what happened to
cause an experimental aircraft to crash into trees near Schenectady
County Airport (SCH) in upstate New York Tuesday afternoon,
critically injuring the pilot.
Local cable channel Capital News 9 reports the pilot had
conducted high-speed taxi tests at the airport near Glenville,
following work on the engine mounted to the SAL 2/3 P-51 -- a small
kitbuilt aircraft based on the legendary World War II-era P-51
Mustang. Following those ground trials, the pilot was cleared by
tower controllers for takeoff.
Things went downhill soon after. Witnesses told the Albany Times
Union the aircraft climbed out to around 200 feet AGL, before they
saw the plane disappear beneath the tree line.
"It looked like he was fighting to keep the nose up," said Jim
Lott, who works at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum located on
the field. "It was wobbling from side to side, like a bird flapping
its wings. He was trying to keep it up, but he didn't clear the
A pilot who was taxiing out when the accident occurred added it
was clear the aircraft was in distress. "He said he lost power.
They (controllers) cleared him to land on any runway, but he didn't
make it," said the pilot, who declined to be identified.
The aircraft came to rest inverted in the trees. Rescuers had to
contend with a fire in the plane's engine compartment before they
were able to pull off the aircraft's canopy, and free the
The pilot -- identified only as a 42-year-old male test pilot,
who did not own the aircraft -- was transported by ground ambulance
to a nearby hospital with head injuries. After he was stabilized, a
helicopter transported him to Albany Medical Center Hospital.
Make/Model: EXP Description:
Date: 09/23/2008 Time: 1901
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Serious Mid Air: N
City: SCHENECTADY State: NY Country:
AIRCRAFT WHILE TAXIING, RAN OFF THE RUNWAY INTO THE TREES,
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 0 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: NOT REPORTED
Activity: Unknown Phase:
Taxi Operation: OTHER
FAA FSDO: ALBANY, NY
Entry date: 09/24/2008