National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report
Date & Time:
09/07/2019, 1007 CDT
Pietenpol Sky Scout
Flight Conducted Under:
Part 91: General Aviation - Personal
On September 7, 2019, about 1007 central daylight time, an amateur-built Pietenpol Sky Scout airplane, N1932G, impacted terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from Old Kingsbury Aerodrome (85TE), Kingsbury, Texas. The airline transport pilot sustained serious injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Freeman Heritage Collection LLC as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.
The airplane builder reported that the airplane had accumulated 34.43 hours since it was built in 1999. The airplane was powered by a Ford model A engine, serial number A416526. The airplane builder stated that the water-cooled engine had undergone recent maintenance to resolve an excessive water temperature condition. Specifically, the engine had been disassembled and the cylinder bores were reamed to increase clearances. The engine was reassembled following the cylinder maintenance and remounted on the airplane. The airplane builder reported that there were no anomalies with engine operation during post-maintenance ground testing, and that the engine had normal water temperatures throughout the ground tests. The airplane builder stated that the engine was run for at least an hour before the accident flight.
The pilot, who was not present for the recent engine maintenance or ground testing, reported that the purpose of the flight was to verify proper engine operation and to monitor water temperature during a local flight over the airport. The pilot completed a short ground test of the engine, during which the engine developed a maximum speed 2,100 rpm with no anomalies. After a short break, the pilot restarted the engine and taxied for a takeoff on runway 14 (2,600 ft by 100 ft, grass/turf). The pilot reported that the takeoff roll and liftoff were uneventful and that the engine was developing 2,100 rpm. The pilot stated that after a short climb he made a shallow right turn before he entered a climbing left turn to remain close to the airport. The pilot stated that the airplane had a total loss of engine power during the left turn, about 7 seconds after liftoff. The pilot recalled hearing the engine "sputter" as it decelerated from takeoff power toward idle. The pilot stated that he pushed the control stick forward to reduce the airplane's angle-of-attack; however, the airplane impacted terrain in a nose low, wings level attitude.
There were several witnesses to the accident who reported that there was a total loss of engine power shortly after liftoff. A couple witnesses reported that the airplane impacted terrain in a left wing low, nose down attitude. One witness reported that after the loss of engine power the left wing dropped as the airplane entered an aerodynamic spin into terrain.
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information
Freeman Heritage Collection LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held:
Meteorological Information and Flight Plan
Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
SEQ, 525 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
6 Nautical Miles
29°C / 23°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Few / 1900 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
5 knots / , 210°
30.11 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Kingsbury, TX (85TE)
Kingsbury, TX (85TE)
Wreckage and Impact Information
29.634167, -97.811667 (est)
Investigator In Charge (IIC):
Andrew T Fox
Additional Participating Persons:
Richard E Long; Federal Aviation Administration, San Antonio FSDO; San Antonio, TX
The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident.