The Pilot Told First Responders That He Experienced A Total Loss Of Engine Power.

Location: TAHLEQUAH, OK Accident Number: CEN23LA268
Date & Time: June 27, 2023, 10:12 Local Registration: N340XL
Aircraft: Velocity Velocity XL Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On June 27, 2023, at 1012 central daylight time, a Velocity XLRG airplane, N340XL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s son, the pilot departed the Flying Machines Airstrip (AR08) in Eureka Springs, Arkansas on June 24, 2023, and flew to the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport (KLAW) in Lawton, Oklahoma. Later that same day, he departed KLAW and attempted to fly back to AR08; however, the engine was running roughly, so the pilot decided to land the airplane in a field near Chickasha, Oklahoma, about 14 minutes after he departed from KLAW. The pilot told first responders and mechanic that he “waited quite a while” on the ramp at KLAW before air traffic control cleared him to depart, and the temperature on the engine exceeded 400°F. He was concerned that perhaps the high engine temperature caused the rough running engine.

A mechanic examined the airframe and the engine and could not determine what would have caused the engine to run roughly. Three days later, on June 27th, the pilot performed an engine run-up in the field and determined that the engine was operating properly. A law enforcement officer cleared a road adjacent to the field, and the pilot departed at 0850 northeast bound toward AR08.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) data revealed that the airplane climbed to 10,200 ft mean sea level while proceeding northeast. About an hour and ten minutes after departure, the pilot issued a “mayday” call on guard frequency (121.5). The airplane impacted a grass field about one mile south of the Tahlequah Municipal Airport (KTQH) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest upright. The pilot told first responders that he experienced a total loss of engine power.

The experimental canard pusher design airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and the empennage. The airplane was recovered from the accident site and was transported to a secure location for further examination. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming IO-540 series engine.