First Flight In The Accident Airplane Since He Was Involved In A Prior Mishap

Location: Spanish Fork, UT Accident Number: WPR22LA080
Date & Time: January 14, 2022, 12:48 Local Registration: N145WT
Aircraft: Walter Tachiki Tachiki 750 Cruzer Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On January 14, 2022, about 1248 mountain standard time, an experimental amateur-built Zenith 750 airplane, N145WT, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Spanish Fork, Utah. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that this was his first flight in the accident airplane since he was involved in a prior mishap that took place in the same airplane about 18 months earlier. A few days prior to the accident flight he fast taxied the airplane down the runway to check the operability of the flight control system and engine controls prior to the accident flight. He noticed that during these passes the airplane would become airborne quickly at full power, so he chose not to advance the throttle to this position for takeoff.

According to the pilot, he transitioned the airplane into a climb after an uneventful ground run, but shortly into the airplane’s climbout, he observed a slow decay in engine power and was suddenly unable to maintain altitude. The pilot immediately started a left turn to return to his departure runway and advanced the throttle to full power, but was unsuccessful in restoring power to the engine. According to a witness, the airplane entered a steep left turn at approximately 80 ft above ground level that quickly transitioned into a nose down dive before it disappeared from view behind obstacles. The pilot stated that the airplane slowed during the turn and impacted the roof of a building during the subsequent forced landing.

Photographs of the accident site taken by the airport manager showed substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The wreckage was retained for further examination.