Saturday, January 9, 2016

Avid Mark IV, N72MT: Accident occurred January 09, 2016 near Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airpark (3FD4), Minneola, Lake County, Florida

Robert E. Salzmann:

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 09, 2016 in Minneola, FL
Aircraft: WAYLAND JOHN H AVID MARK IV, registration: N72MT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 9, 2016, about 1600 eastern standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Mark IV, N72MT, was substantially damaged following a forced landing after takeoff from Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Flightpark (3FD4), Minneola, Florida. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that, after takeoff, he turned onto the crosswind leg of the traffic pattern. At 300 feet above the ground, and while climbing, the engine "sputtered then died." He made a radio call that he was returning to the runway. The airplane "stalled and entered a spin attitude." The airplane impacted a grassy area and came to rest inverted.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. Structural damage to fuselage, empennage, and both wings was noted.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15

MINNEOLA -- An experimental aircraft went down in the Minneola area on Saturday.

Lt. John Herrell, Lake County sheriff’s spokesman, said the pilot taken off from the Gator Airfield in Groveland and was doing touch-and-go’s when the engine began to smoke.

The aircraft crashed in the 9400 block of Libby Road Number 3 in the Minneola area about 4 p.m. and left the pilot with serious injuries.

Alan Resnick, a spokesman with the Flying Gators, identified the pilot as Robert Salzmann of Groveland and said about 7:45 p.m. Saturday that the he was in the trauma unit.

“We hope he will be OK,” Resnick said.

According to officials with Lake County Fire-Rescue, the experimental aircraft dropped about 500 feet from the sky onto the ground. Firefighters from Groveland and Clermont also responded. The pilot was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center.

A spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration said the crash of the Avid Mark IV plane is under investigation.


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A small plane crashed in a field near Minneola Saturday afternoon shortly after takeoff, Lake County Fire Rescue said.

The experimental aircraft crashed in a field off Libby No. 3 Rd. at about 4:15 p.m. not far from the Florida Flying Gators Ultralight Airport from which it took off, said LCFR Capt. Clint Lowery.

The pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings when the experimental aircraft engine began to smoke and the plane dropped 500 feet from the sky, Lowery said.

Lowery said the pilot had multiple injuries and was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center in stable condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.


LAKE COUNTY --  An experimental aircraft pilot appears to have escaped serious injury Saturday in a crash in Groveland.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to Gator Air Field in Groveland around 4 p.m. after receiving a report of a plane crash. 

The single occupant, single-engine experimental plane reportedly dropped from approximately 500 feet in the sky, officials said.

The pilot was conducting touch-and-go’s when the engine area of the plane began to smoke, said John Herrell, the Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

The still-unnamed pilot was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. 

An investigation is being conducted by FAA.


One man was injured when an experimental aircraft fell from an altitude of about 500 feet in Groveland Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The pilot, who was the only person in the single-engine experimental plane, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, according to Lake County Fire Rescue officials.

The pilot was at Gator Air Field about 4 p.m. doing touch-and-goes, an exercise in which pilots take off, land and take off again without stopping, said Lt. John Herrell, a Lake County sheriff's spokesman.

Suddenly, smoke started coming out of the engine and the plane crashed, Herrell said.

The pilot was taken to Orlando Regional Medical in Orlando with injuries that were serious, but not life threatening.


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