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Fri, Sep 08, 2023

NTSB Prelim: Glasair Glastar

Witness: Sound Continued Until “It Just Stopped,” And He Then Heard A “Slap” Sound

Location: Idaho City, ID Accident Number: WPR23FA301
Date & Time: August 4, 2023, 10:10 Local Registration: N617G
Aircraft: Glasair Glastar Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 4, 2023, about 1010 mountain daylight time, an experimental, amateur built Glastar airplane, N617G was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Idaho City, Idaho. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness, located about ½ mile from the Idaho City Airport (U98), Idaho City, reported that he was outside and heard an engine power up. The sound continued until “it just stopped,” and he then heard a “slap” sound. He further stated that it sounded like the pilot never took his hand off the throttle. He believed it to be an airplane engine, so he drove to the airport and saw the white tail of an airplane in the trees.

According to a friend of the pilot reported that the accident pilot and himself departed Caldwell, Idaho, in different airplanes and had flown to U98. They landed about 0800, parked their airplanes on the northeast side of the airport, and walked into town for breakfast. After breakfast, they returned to their airplanes. The friend of the pilot stated that they taxied to the beginning of the asphalt, and he asked the accident pilot via radio if he was ready to go but got no response. The friend of the pilot then departed, and later tried to communicate over the radio with the accident pilot but again got no response. About an hour after landing at Caldwell, Idaho, the friend walked to the accident pilot’s hangar and found the accident pilot’s truck still there and the hangar was locked. He was then notified later in the day of the accident.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane came to rest upright about 100 ft left of the runway 22 centerline on a magnetic heading of about 144° at an elevation of about 3,890 ft above mean sea level (msl). The first point of impact was a gouge in a tree trunk about ten ft above ground level (agl). Two other trees, immediately to the right of the first impacted tree, exhibited impact marks as well. About 550 ft from the beginning of the asphalt portion of the runway were two impressions in the gravel that were consistent with the left main landing gear and the tailwheel. The impressions were initially oriented along the centerline of the gravel runway. The impressions briefly disappeared and reappeared in an arcing trajectory toward the main wreckage. The total length of the impressions was about 694 ft.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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