Unfortunately I didn't know this site existed till a few days ago. I bought the aircraft July of 2016. Went to the local airport and talked with a few of the guys with experimental planes but it was just basics. The air craft since I had it has always been inside. The only night it stayed out side was the night of the crash waiting for FAA investigators to get there the next morning. I wish I could have made it to the crash site on their initial investigation and also the removal of the plane. I was still in the hospital with my daughter. My friends took my equipment and moved it to my shop and they probably weren't caring how much damage they did getting it loaded but it made it back to my shop in a few pieces. I think most of them were ready to smash it with the excavator lol. And the nine months it took me to start working on the airplane wasn't bc of physical recovery more that just mental recovery. I was released from the hospital with in 12 hours with a broken ankle and concussion. My daughter was in in the hospital for 4 days with a back injury and a severe concussion. She was on the right side of the aircraft and it took a harder hit than the left side. When I told her we were going in she passed out from fear. It probably saved her from severe back injuries according to the doctors but when we hit she was like a rag doll and got a worse concussion than I did. Some how there was a Divine intervention in all this bc I know how we were going in and I knew the position we were in as the tassels on the corn Hit the windshield. That's when I closed my eyes. I prayed all the way down. i remember right before the corn stalks I tried to flare and hit the right rudder as hard as I can to level out. God helped me there bc I'm not that good of a pilot to land like that. I just knew I was going to fight it all the way in. And by the way it's not fun being on the news and I totally understand now that I don't believe everything I see or read on the news either. The news said we were landing. We were taking off. The news said our engine failed. We were at full throttle in the initial Climb. The new said we stalled. Our air speed was between 60-70 knots. The news said I radioed for help. That was the only thing they got right!!!! But I wasn't asking for help on the radio..... I was asking God for help to save us. I told one reporter that and she didn't air that part of the interview. I told her no one was on the ground that could possibly save us. Only God could have saved us. The look in her face was priceless. You learn from your mistakes and what I am taking from all of this is the biggest lesson I learned is I know for a fact there is something beyond this life that we live in here on earth. I don't want to get all religious on you guys but I believe in God.
The aircraft is a Avid Flyer model Cuyuna 430R built by Wings and Things Bloomfield, Ohio. The outer flaperon is a wood with an aluminum piece that connects to the flaperon. The other four hinges are all connected with wood. I had over 30 flights with this aircraft. I am not sure if it took this long for the flaperon hinge to fail or what. That evening had already taken off twice and flew for almost an hour and a half. Landed and was on the runway when I decided to make one final goaround bc I still had daylight and no wind. Was an absolutely beautiful evening to fly. I had cleared the runway and was climbing to 1500 ft to make the pattern when it let loose between 500-600ft. My air speed was almost 70 knots when the aircraft dipped to the left. We dipped at such a steep angle that one eye witness thought we were a crop duster so when we went down to where they couldn't see us they were not alarmed. They corn wrapped around the prop so tight the FAA investigators said it kept us from catching fire. So with no smoke or anything to help people find us I some how woke up with my phone still between my legs. I had no clue where I was when I called 911. Only that I last remembered I was close to the airfield and in a cornfield. I asked the operator to ping my phone. She did and it got them close to an intersection that had four cornfields. The first responders ended up climbing on top of grain bins to find us. I will try and see if I can attach some photos.
Has anyone experience a flaperion hinge failure other than myself? I had three of the five hinges fail during our initial climb on the left wing between 500 and 600 feet. Started a spiral nose dive. Was able to pull up enough to survive the impact. Not sure at this point what to do with the aircraft? I have stored it in my shop since the crash. It's took nine months since the crash to start working on it. Where would I go to have it restored?