Aviation Safety Council, the Executive Yuan, released the investigation report of a STORCH ultra-light vehicle occurrence. when the STORCH was circling and turning over above the occurrence site, the ultra-light vehicle fell and hit tree trunks on ground due to stall. After the impact the fuel leaked to engine hot section caught and destroyed the vehicle.
In the afternoon of September 21, 2011 one STORCH ultra-light vehicle crashed at a litchi orchard at Xianzhuang Village, Fenyuan Township, Changhua County with one operator on board. The aircraft took off at 16:20 from an activity area at Sijhou Township, Changhua County, with first practicing take-off, landing, and circling above the activity field, then it flew towards north east to Hou-yu-che village, Changnan Road Section 2, Fenyuan Township, Changhua County and lingered over there. The operator’s friend witnessed at 17:15 that the aircraft was circling above an orchard with distance of 6 meters from ground then it suddenly slowed down and inclined to crash at a litchi orchard nearby. The aircraft collided with the ground, and burst into fire. The operator had 2 to 3 degree of burns to 95% of body coverage and died at the hospital.
After being notified, ASC followed Aviation Occurrence Investigation Act and Regulations of Ultra-light Vehicle Aviation Occurrence Investigation Procedures to go to the scene of the occurrence with Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) personnel to start the investigation.
Findings from the investigation showed that the aircraft might crash due to stall while it was hovering above the occurrence site, then the impact with the tree trunks on ground led to fuel leak and then the fuel contacted the engine’s hot section to burn the aircraft out.
ASC issued 2 recommendations. To CAA：reinforce inspections to those unauthorized ultra-light activities and provide the Ministry of the Interior and local governments with the latitude and longitude information of all unauthorized ultra-light vehicle activity areas so they may assist to ban the unauthorized activities. One recommendation to the ‘Ministry of the Interior’: supervise local governments to exercise their rights and responsibilities to ban unauthorized ultra-light vehicle activity areas.
The full investigation report is available for download at http://www.asc.gov.tw
Sherry Liu, Engineer