This spring an airplane crashed in Arlington Washington. What is notable about this particular plane crash was the post crash fire. According to the NTSB report, the aircraft fell from a distance of approximately 100 feet and one minute after impact burst into flames.
Crashworthiness attorneys ask several questions after an incident such as this. (1) What caused the fire? (2) Was the crash survivable? (3) Should improvements have been made to the stucture which would have increased occupant survivability? All of these questions are worth examining in order to ensure the safety of future occupants of the Czech Aircraft Works Sportcruiser.
The NTSB preliminary report is below:
NTSB Identification: WPR11LA223
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Arlington, WA
Aircraft: Czech Aircraft Works SPOL SRO Sportcruiser, registration: N282SC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On May 14, 2011, about 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Czech Aircraft Works SPOL SRO Sportcruiser, N282SC, collided with terrain after takeoff from Arlington Municipal Field, Arlington, Washington. The private pilot/owner was operating the airplane as a local personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the airframe and wings from impact forces and a post crash fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
Witnesses reported that the airplane went to an extremely nose high attitude after liftoff. They estimated that the airplane never climbed to more than 100 feet above ground level (agl). The airplane maintained the nose high attitude as it began to turn back toward the runway. The airplane entered a steep angle of bank to the left, which was followed by a near vertical nose low attitude. The airplane collided with the ground on airport property. It burst into flames about 1 minute after the ground contact.