Re: Bud Starne's accident scene review

Dave Richardson <dave@...>

Here is what Jerry wanted to share with the group. Thanks for doing this
and sharing it with us Jerry.



May 2, 2003

The following is the description of the scene of Bud Starnes accident as
viewed by Jerry Marstall and his wife Nancy. Bud's aviation friend Mike
Zeller accompanied us. The following description is only an attempt to
provide information to those who are interested in the accident but have not
had the opportunity to see what the accident site offers. All of the
measurements given are estimates.

Every attempt is made to describe what we saw, and not to lead any one to
any conclusions. Any conclusions arrived at by any of us at this time are
mere speculations. Hopefully the NTSB will provide factual conclusions.

On May 1, Mike took us to the Henderson County Airport in Henderson, KY
where Bud's accident occurred. The airport has a 5500' x 75' flat,
beautiful runway. The airport sets in the middle of farmland and is open on
both ends. Mike arrived upon the scene 30 minutes after the accident and
saw all the evidence. He walked the runway with us, providing information
as he recalled it.

It appears that the takeoff was normal. Sandra, his wife, was there and
said Bud reached an altitude equal to a large tree a couple hundred yards
from the runway that is estimated at about 30-40' tall. She took a couple
of pictures of the takeoff but we did not see them.

The first clues to the accident are at approx. 2500' down the runway. At
this point the plane contacted the runway in what appears to be a flat,
straight ahead, landing attitude, about 5' right of centerline. There are
marks on the asphalt of both main wheels skidding and propeller cuts about
every 4'. These continued for about 60'. At this point it appears that the
plane again became airborne. The next signs of contact with the runway were
900' further down the runway. These marks were again of the prop striking
the runway every 2' about 6' from the right side of the runway. There were
also left main gear skid marks. The right gear would have been in the
grass, but there are no marks of the gear actually touching down. At this
point there were additional marks passing through the prop marks. That
appears to be the tail cone dragging without the tail wheel.

The plane again appears to go airborne for about 100' and touches down just
to the right of the centerline, veering slightly to the left. The prop
continues to slice into the runway. The plane continues to slide for approx
350' toward the left side of the runway. During this last distance it
appears that the plane is beginning to rotate to the left as it nears the
left side of the runway. It appears that the left canard went into the
grass first, causing the plane to rotate hard to the left and the right
canard to dig into the ground as it left the hard runway surface.

Now it appears the plane cart wheeled over the right canard, landing
inverted. At this location there was lots of clear Plexiglas. Some pieces
were buried vertical. At this same point four articles were ejected from
the cockpit: Bud's glasses, hat, handheld radio and the right seat cushion.
Encompassing this area is a burned spot in the grass about 10' in diameter .

The plane continued to slide inverted for approximately another 75', across
a taxiway and back into the grass about 40' left of the runway and
approximately 1500 feet from the departure end. The propeller shows
evidence in the dirt of still turning for about 15 feet after it flipped.
The plane came to rest inverted, consumed in fire. This fire circle is
about 20' in diameter.

-----Original Message-----
From: jnmarstall [mailto:jnmarstall@...]
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 12:55 PM
To: Q-LIST@...
Subject: [Q-LIST] Bud Starne's accident scene review

The attached provides some additional comments about Bud's accident. This
info is not provided with any authority or intent to provide witness in any
form. Just info guys!
Jerry Marstall

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