November 5, 2010, Winchester, Tenn., Glasair III Experimental


At about 0918 Central time, the airplane was destroyed during collision with wooded, mountainous terrain following an uncontrolled descent while maneuvering. The private pilot and the pilot-rated passenger/builder were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. The flight of two airplanes, lead by an airline transport-rated pilot (ATP) in a Swearingen SX300 Experimental originated in Florida with a planned fuel stop in Shelbyville, Tenn.

Two witnesses described the engine noise as increasing and decreasing “for some time;” one likened it to a crop duster as it made low-level passes. A witness observed the airplane descend vertically at what sounded like “full power” before it disappeared into the trees and the sounds of impact were heard.

While operating VFR about 40 miles southeast of the planned fuel stop, the ATP noticed a ridgeline about 10 miles ahead of their position was obscured by clouds. He advised a course reversal to seek a landing site with available fuel. The accident airplane pilot concurred with the decision, and the lead aircraft initiated a left, 180-degree turn. The accident airplane pilot, flying in a right echelon position, announced and then initiated a right, 180-degree turn.

Seconds later, the ATP heard the passenger in the accident airplane state over the radio, “Dont do that.” Several seconds later he again heard the passenger state, “Dont follow that.” There was a pause of about 10 seconds, then he heard the voice of the pilot say, “Oh God, no.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here