Airplane Began A Right Turn, At Which Time The Left Wing Separated And The Airplane Rapidly Descended

Location: Arlington, WA Accident Number: WPR23FA351
Date & Time: September 22, 2023, 14:46 Local Registration: N/A
Aircraft: Golden Circle T Bird Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 103: Ultralight

On September 22, 2023, about 1446 Pacific daylight time, an unregistered experimental amateur-built Golden Circle T-Bird II was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Arlington, Washington. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a witness, who was standing in front of a hangar at Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO), he observed the accident airplane complete a series of what appeared to be practice takeoff maneuvers during which the airplane would become momentarily airborne. During the airplane’s final takeoff maneuver, it lifted off the ground towards the south and turned right. The airplane narrowly missed the top of a hangar and then appeared to maneuver to avoid trees before it disappeared. Seconds later the airplane reappeared above the trees and continued to fly erratically. The engine sounded like it was being operated at various power settings. Subsequently, the airplane began a right turn, at which time the left wing separated and the airplane rapidly descended and impacted terrain.

The wreckage was removed from the accident site and secured.