June 12, 2005, Gloucester, Va. / Maxair Drifter Experimental


The homebuilt airplane was substantially damaged at 1930 Eastern time, when it impacted terrain; the Private pilot received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. According to witnesses, the pilot flew over a large picnic at an altitude of about 200 feet. Several seconds later, the witnesses observed the tail section of the airplane wobble, and then break off. The airplane then pitched nose down and impacted the ground. Subsequent examination revealed corrosion in the tail boom attachment points, as well as in numerous other critical areas of the aircraft. The aircraft was equipped with floats, and was often operated in a salt-water environment.


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