Engine Was Running, And The Aircraft Descended In A Nose-Low Attitude Until Impact

Location: Mokuleia, HI Accident Number: ANC23FA003
Date & Time: November 5, 2022, 08:11 Local Registration: N444EZ
Aircraft: Airborne Windsports Edge XT912L Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On November 5, 2022, about 0811 Hawaii-Aleutian standard time, an Airborne Windsports Edge XT-912-L weight shift control light sport aircraft, N444EZ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Mokuleia, Hawaii. The flight instructor and initial/introductory flight training student were fatally injured. The aircraft was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the operator, Paradise Air Hang Gliding, the flight should have lasted about 30 minutes. When the aircraft did not return, another pilot from the operator went to look for them, and he eventually spotted the wreckage about 2 miles west of the airport. Multiple witnesses close to the accident site stated that the engine was running, and the aircraft descended in a nose-low attitude until impact.

The aircraft was equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS–B), which provides aircraft tracking to determine its position via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. The information can be received by air traffic control ground stations as a replacement for secondary surveillance radar, as no interrogation signal is needed from the ground.

According to archived Federal Aviation Administration ADS-B flight track data, the aircraft departed Dillingham Airfield (HDH), about 0739. The aircraft flew east of the airport, maneuvering at varying altitudes and making a few 360° turns before turning back to the west. The aircraft flew along the coast towards Ka’ena Point then it made a left climbing turn toward HDH. The aircraft climbed to 2,775 ft mean sea level (msl), then made a right descending spiral turn. The last track data was observed at 0810, as the aircraft descended through 700 ft msl, at 20 knots. An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Alaska Regional Office responded to the accident site and examined the aircraft wreckage. During the detailed onscene examination, a GoPro camera was recovered and  subsequently sent to the NTSB’s vehicle recorder laboratory for download and review, and results are pending.

The aircraft was recovered and transported to a facility for examination. The fuselage was intact and impact damaged. Flight control continuity was established from the control inputs to the control surfaces. The wing mast was impact damaged; the mast safety cable remained attached.

The engine remained attached to the airframe. The carburetors were separated from the engine and impact damaged. The fuel tank was breached and empty. Two of the three propeller blades were separated from the hub, and both were found at the accident site. The remaining blade was impact damaged.

The wreckage has been retained for further documentation when required.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov