On The Previous Flight The Pilot Reported Engine Issues

Location: Marengo, IN Accident Number: CEN20LA407
Date & Time: September 21, 2020, 14:30 Local Registration: n/a
Aircraft: Quicksilver MX II Sprint Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under:

On September 21, 2020, about 1430 central daylight time, an unregistered experimental Quicksilver airplane was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at a private grass strip. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The flight was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A pilot rated witness stated that on the previous flight the pilot reported engine issues and was unable to achieve more than idle power. He landed the airplane without incident and suggested that the engine issues might have been to due carburetor ice or it was “loaded up” when he decreased the throttle to land. On the accident flight, the pilot planned to fly to his home grass strip about 10 miles away. The pilot added fuel to the airplane for a total of 4 to 5 gallons available. The pilot told the witness that he would depart, then remain above the strip until he confirmed that the engine was operating normally.

After takeoff, the pilot flew the airplane above the strip and in the immediate area for a few minutes. After circling at 200 ft above ground level (agl), the airplane returned toward the runway an appeared to setup for landing. The engine did not sputter or hesitate, but it was not running at a high rpm. The witness thought the pilot had decreased the throttle for landing. He stated that the airplane descended too low and headed toward a set of trees adjacent to the strip. The left wing impacted a tree, the airplane rotated to the left, then impacted the ground in a nose low attitude. The engine stopped abruptly upon ground impact.

The pilot reported that he had departed from the grass strip and climbed to 500 to 600 ft agl. When the throttle would not advance, he turned back for an emergency landing on the runway that he had used before. During the landing he got disoriented and clipped a tree.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov