WARREN, Pa. — The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday into a July 14 plane crash in Russell, Pa.
“On July 14, 2022, at approximately 7:40 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, a Flightstar II-SC, N6116U, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Shield Farm Airport (5PA6), Russell, Pennsylvania”, according to the report.
“The uncertified pilot was seriously injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries,” according to the NTSB.
Neither a license nor a certificate is required to fly an ultralight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“The pilot and passenger began the take-off roll on Runway 4, a 1,650-foot-long grass runway with an uphill slope,” according to the report. “A witness reported that the plane turned left into the trees immediately after takeoff and did not appear to be climbing. The plane went through the trees and then disappeared.
The report quoted the passenger in the vehicle as saying, “We tried to go over the trees and we hit a tree. He did not climb as usual.
“The aircraft struck treetops approximately 300 feet north of the runway, then descended into a creek bed…where it came to rest on its left side,” according to the report.
“Examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the aircraft’s left wing was fractured and the fuselage had significant damage on the pilot’s side.” says the report. “Two of the three propeller blades were severed near the hub. Examination of the engine revealed no abnormalities. The fuel tank contained approximately three gallons of fuel, and there was fuel in both bowls of carburetor without any trace of water or foreign debris.
“The wreckage, which included a video camera mounted on the aircraft’s left wing, was retained for further examination,” he added. according to the report.
Probable cause, findings and recommendations are not part of the preliminary report and could take significantly longer to report, according to the NTSB.