No Evidence The Pilot Declared An Emergency Or Made Any Radio Calls Prior To The Accident

Location: Aztec, AZ Accident Number: WPR22FA348
Date & Time: September 16, 2022, 13:30 Local Registration: N646RV
Aircraft: Trom Wayne Vans RV6A Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On September 16, 2022, about 1330 mountain standard time (MST), a Vans RV-6A experimental airplane, N646RV, was destroyed when it crashed near Aztec, Arizona. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to family members, the pilot and passenger were conducting a cross-country flight from San Diego, California, to Nogales, Arizona. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data indicated the flight departed Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM) at 1209. The flight flew easterly, parallel to Interstate 8 (I-8), and maintained an altitude of about 7,300 ft mean sea level (msl) and 125 knots until it neared Aztec, Arizona. At 1331:19 airspeed and altitude began decreasing. The pilot subsequently maneuvered away from I-8 for about one mile and then turned east and south-east before the ADS-B data ended in the vicinity of the accident location at 1334:28 (figure 1). The airplane impacted desert terrain about one mile north of I-8 and was destroyed by postimpact fire. There was no evidence the pilot declared an emergency or made any radio calls prior to the accident.

The wreckage was examined on site. Portions of the wood propeller remained attached to the crankshaft flange. The Fractured propeller blade remnants showed little rotational deformation. Impact marks were identified on the engine starter housing. The marks matched the starter ring teeth and showed little or no rotational movement.

The engine was retained for further examination.