May 6, 2011, Spring Hill, Fla., Czech Sport Aircraft AS Piper Sport


The special light sport aircraft was destroyed when it impacted wooded terrain at 2328 Eastern time. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. Night visual conditions prevailed.

Radar data indicated that at 2327:53, the airplane was proceeding northbound over a residential area at 6500 feet. At 2327:57, the altitude readout was 6400 feet. At 2328:02, the altitude readout was 6000 feet, indicating an average descent rate of about 4800 fpm during the previous five seconds. The next and final altitude readout occurred at 2328:11, at 3500 feet, indicating an average descent rate in excess of 16,000 fpm during the previous nine seconds. Altitude readouts then ceased. The pilot became separated from the airplane and was found deceased in a front yard, about 1800 feet from the airplanes impact site.

Airframe crush patterns were consistent with an almost-vertical, nose-down, slightly inverted ground impact. The leading edges of the horizontal stabilizer and rudder did not reveal any evidence of a bird strike. The engine and propeller exhibited signs of power being produced at impact. Plastic shards consistent with the airplanes bubble canopy were found at the crash site, but in smaller quantities than expected.


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