OLIVER SPRINGS, Tenn. (WATE) – Less than a week before a fatal crash in Oliver Springs, a passenger in an experimental, amateur-built aircraft said “it still … pulls hard to the right” after a flight according to a preliminary report from the National Transporation Safety Board.
Killed in the plane crash on July 13 was Patrick Scott Lucas, 45, of Morristown. He was the only person in the plane when it crashed at 5:18 p.m. near the Oliver Springs Airport in Anderson County.
The plane Lucas was piloting was a Quicksilver MXII, N3889Z. It crashed shortly after takeoff, the NTSB said in the newly released report.
Lucas, the owner of the plane, was a non-certificated pilot.
After takeoff, the airplane appeared to “crab into the wind,” according to an account from a witness, the NTSB said. The plane then started turning right towards the trees bordering the east side of the airport. The witness saw the wings were rocking and the airplane climbed over the trees then turned left and then crashed out of view.
Another witness told the NTSB the pilot purchased the airplane several weeks prior to the accident and believed the pilot had flown the airplane “once or twice” before the fatal flight, according to the NTSB report.
This witness told the NTSB he was surprised that the pilot elected to fly at the time of the accident because the air was becoming unstable and breezy.
Mobile phone video dated July 7, 2019, and reviewed at the site showed two people taxiing in the airplane toward the camera, the report said. After the airplane came to a stop, the video shows the one in the right seat was asked “what do you think about that?” and he responded “It still…pulls hard to the right.”
According to Federal Aviation Administration airman records, the pilot did not possess an FAA-issued pilot or medical certificate.
According to FAA airworthiness and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental amateur-built category on May 11, 1983. It was a two place, open cockpit, high-wing, the airplane of aluminum tubular and fabric construction, powered by a Rotax 503, 50 horsepower engine that drove a 3-blade propeller in a pusher configuration, the NTSB said in the report.