NTSB Identification: LAX03FA207
On July 4, 2003, about 1115 Pacific daylight time, a Globe GC-1B, N78053, rolled over and collided with the runway during takeoff at Truckee, California. The private pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot sustained fatal injuries, and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight was en route to Nevada County Air Park, Grass Valley, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accident coordinator examined the wreckage on scene. He determined that all major components were in the main wreckage, and he established control continuity.
A witness, who held a commercial pilot certificate with single engine land rating, supplied a written statement. He said that he had just exited a glider and was standing adjacent to runway 19 about 1,300 feet from the departure end of the runway. He turned and observed that the Globe was a few feet above runway 19. He said that the airplane nose went to an unusually high pitch attitude, and the gear quickly went up as the airplane started a gentle right turn. The actions seemed unusual to the witness and he said to no one in particular, "This isn't going to work."
The witness thought the Globe was mushing through the air. It climbed a little, and then began to settle in a nearly level attitude. The airplane began to roll to the right and continued the roll so that the right wing and nose hit simultaneously when it collided with runway 25. He estimated that the maximum attained altitude was 100 to 200 feet. He said the engine sounded smooth, and he didn't observe or hear any obvious problems with the airplane.
Investigators from the Safety Board and Textron Lycoming examined the wreckage at Plain Parts, Sacramento, California, on July 7, 2003.
Investigators removed the engine. They slung it from a hoist, and removed the top spark plugs. All spark plugs were clean with no mechanical deformation. The spark plug electrodes were gray in color, which corresponded to normal operation according to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug AV-27 Chart.
A borescope inspection revealed no mechanical deformation on the valves, cylinder walls, or internal cylinder head.
The engine would not rotate. The case sustained mechanical damage and examination through a hole in the front of the case revealed that the crankshaft had been displaced aft about 1/8 inch. Investigators drilled holes in the case between the push rods. Investigators observed the internal engine components with a borescope. They did not observe any mechanical damage and the internal surfaces appeared moist.
Investigators manually rotated the magnetos, and both magnetos produced spark at all ignition leads.