Appeared The Pilot Was Having Difficulty Gaining Altitude And Maintaining Stability

Location: Grosse Ile, MI Accident Number: CEN20LA272
Date & Time: 07/11/2020, 1647 EDT Registration: N50JH
Aircraft: Golden Circle Air T-Bird Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Personal

On July 11, 2020, about 1647 eastern daylight time, a Golden Circle Air T-Bird Tandem TBT-06, N50JH, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Gross Ile., Michigan. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was being operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness told Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, who responded to the accident site, that he observed the airplane taxi out from between the hangars at Gross Ile Municipal Airport (ONZ) and take off to the south on taxiway C. About 1/3 of the way down the taxiway, the airplane lifted off and struck a taxiway light on the west (right) side of the taxiway at taxiway E.

The pilot applied rudder into the wind and disappeared from sight.

Another witnesses near the accident site saw the airplane flying 200 to 300 ft over a residential area. He said the wind was getting stronger and it appeared the pilot was having difficulty gaining altitude and maintaining stability. “The motor also sounded like it was straining and at one point went full throttle,” he wrote.

The airplane struck a tree and crashed in the 27000 block of Loma Circle, about 1/2-mile south of ONZ. FAA inspectors examined the wreckage and reported that the pilot’s control stick was dislodged and was found on the floor of the airplane. The airplane wreckage was retained for further examination.