Shortly after takeoff from Runway 27 at Bute Airstrip, the pilot reported that the engine appeared to lose power and the aircraft was no longer able to climb. With the area around the airfield unsuitable for a landing he attempted to return to the runway, but in doing so flew into the ground. The aircraft came to rest upside down in a ditch and caught fire. The pilot and passenger sustained serious burns from which the passenger later died.
The aircraft was fitted with a ballistic parachute recovery system which had not been activated during the flight. However, the investigation highlighted a number of issues, concerning such systems, which present a risk to the aircraft occupants and first responders following an accident.
Seven Safety Recommendations were made to address the risk to individuals following an accident involving an aircraft equipped with a ballistic parachute recovery system.
The date of the accident was originally incorrectly stated as 9 September 2014; the accident occurred on 9 August 2014.
The Bulletin was corrected online prior to publication.