Damage Photos
[ Updated 11/24/2009 edited 9/2/2015]

As always, left click on most photos to see larger photo

This should be the final word on this subject.
Synopsis: The initial failure was the rear spar; not the main spar.  The rear spar was a temporary "mock up" made from light material.

Links to news report
cnews ... Pilot survives ultralight plane crash

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, November 23, 2009 12:23 PM
Subject: [ultracruiser] Update from Terry

I got the following message from Terry today and he cleared it for distribution:
    I got your message last night then Roy Breaton called this morning. A quick recap:
I rec'd the failed section of Roy's spar Monday last week. I knew the lab couldn't  test it until after Thanksgiving, so we did a little detective work on our own. First we broke a couple pieces of spar material in an attempt to duplicate the edge of the break. We were assuming a forward movement of the wing due to a high angle of attack. This proved to be true, on the second sample, bending the spar forward and slightly up, the break was nearly identical. We couldn't tell from the pictures what the rear spar looked like after failure. So, on Tues. I asked Roy to send us pictures of the rear spar as it attaches at the fuselage.
  This morning Roy called with his findings. Roy had installed a "mock up" piece in place of the 3/4x3/4x1/8  6061 to allow him to keep building while the material was on order. Unfortunately he forgot to go back and install the proper material. He had used a piece of 2024 .016 sheet bent into an angle.
    I am amazed it held together after the ground loop and prop strike. And there are a hundred more questions.
    Most importantly Roy is recovering and even mentioned buying a materials package to get started on another UC. He was also very apologetic for causing any disruption to our business.
    Dennis I will post this on the Hummel forum. If you want to forward it to the Yahoo group is fine with me.
Thanks for you patience with us,
Terry Hallett
Hummel Aviation

The wing folded in flight.  The pilot reported a loud bang.  The pilot then saw the wing fold.  He blacked out.  Reports place the aircraft at 50 to 75 feet from the ground.  The crash occurred during the 3rd circuit.


I received the following report on the pilot, "His wrist was pretty bad and also his left foot.  They have put a pin in his wrist and are letting the swelling go down from his foot to fix it.  He will likely be in the Hospital for a few more days.  He is in good
spirits though and will be taking a few months off to recover" [w]

Immediately after the accident, I was approached by an operator at the airport for comment (my email address was easy to find on the web).   My first conclusion was incorrect.  [S. Steve Adkins]  That incorrect conclusion, "The wing spar appears to have been built out of the correct material."

"The piece that you thought was the spar cap in photo 1639 is one of the fuselage side stringers that was bent into the spar.  I bent it out of the way for some of the other pictures." [w]. 

"We think that the 6061T6 material is the side rail not the spar cap. Since there are no holes in the top [as would be true for the spar cap].  That is not to say that the spars are correct but we can't tell from the photos. We believe, even if the spars were 6061T6 it should not have failed unless there is some other major construction issues." [m]

The wing spar appears to have been built out of the correct material.


We now know the rear spar was built from an angle formed by bending sheet metal to form a temporary rear spar.



Note: Right wing moved around to facilitate extracting pilot.

This view show the protection provided by the structure.

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