Jim Feldman Kitfox Incident – All OK


Jim Feldman Kitfox Incident – All OK

Chapter 40 member Jim Feldman’s beautiful Kitfox IV was substantially damaged in an off-airport landing a week ago. Fortunately both instructor and student walked away unharmed.

Jim had been battling months of engine problems with the Rotax 912 since the aircraft was ferried to Whiteman from Florida. Carburetor problems, ignition problems, and several other minor issues had to be fought through before Jim could begin taking his LSA pilot instruction in earnest.

After both carburetors had been rebuilt, and replacement of both expensive ignition control modules, the engine started to behave reliably and inspire confidence. Several test flights had been conducted by Jim’s experienced instructor Karl Florine, and finally the time came for Jim to start his official lessons.

However, just outside of Newhall Pass on the way back in to Whiteman, the propeller blades de- parted the propeller hub in rapid succession, leaving Karl in the position of an impromptu glider pilot with Jim on board.

Thankfully, Jim was in as good hands with Karl under emergency as he had been under normal flight, and Karl found a semi-safe place to land the aircraft just south of the Magic Mountain amusement park. Neither pilot was injured, and the aircraft came to rest right side up with no fire, serious breakup, or significant property damage. It is now an insurance issue. We trust that Jim Feldman will acquire another aircraft with fewer mechanical difficulties and continue flying with Karl towards his LSA pilot license.


1 Comment

  1. Jim Feldmann says:

    I had not seen this before today. Accurate and nicely written (by Bill Berle I suspect).

    This incident has left me with a very positive opinion of high time pilots (Karl in particular) and steel tube STOL airplanes (Kitfox for sure). It has also caused me to strongly recommend against multi-blade wood props with a pinch-style hub.

    The NTSB spend 8 months examining the remains of my GSC 3-blade grounf adjustable prop without finding anything wrong with it. Their final report says “unknown cause”.

    Update: The wreck was sold at auction and I have since bought another Kitfox. This one is an uncompleted project, and I am enjoying the build.


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