May 7, 2010, Ridgeland, S.C., Vans RV-10 Experimental


At about 1511 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed during an explosion after landing. The private pilot and his passenger were seriously injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

While the airplane was on short final, “about 200 feet from the runway,” the pilot experienced a “brief whiff” of an odor similar to “a gas smell.” Upon landing the passenger asked if they should open the door and the pilot stated “wait [un]til we clear the runway.” As the airplane exited the runway, an explosion caused the windows and door to be blown out. The occupants exited the airplane. The pilot returned to the airplane, utilized the on board handheld fire extinguisher, and extinguished the fire on the floor of the cabin. As he was walking away from the airplane towards his passenger, the airplane “exploded” a second time and was engulfed in flames within moments.

The airplane was completely consumed by fire. Only a small portion of the tail section, and the engine area forward of the firewall had not been consumed by fire. The airplane was equipped with a Chevrolet 2006 LS-2 engine and a Vesta 3B78 propeller. During the accident flight, the airplane accumulated 150 total hours time in service.


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