Al Marsh

Mistral engine prototype crashes in Florida

June 10, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

An aircraft powered by a prototype Mistral rotary aircraft engine crashed after the engine lost power following takeoff from Palatka Municipal Airport, Florida. The Mistral test pilot, retired physician Stephen Roth of Deland, Florida, received minor injuries.

The aircraft is owned by Mistral and was used in 2004 for engine testing at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, but left that program in December. Mistral officials blamed the problem on an experimental exhaust system, and said the engine was performing normally.

The research was briefly mentioned in an article in AOPA Pilot. ePilot has previously reported on the engine.

The Piper Arrow was destroyed in the crash that occurred after Roth tried to return to the runway as power steadily declined.

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One Response to “Mistral engine prototype crashes in Florida”

  1. Robert Simpson Says:

    Sounds like poor planning, took off from the shortest runway with light winds and full fuel tanks. Continued straight out after experiencing engine trouble then attempted to turn around and return to the airport. Maybe they should hire a real test pilot – maybe the aircraft would still be in one piece. Just my opinion on the matter. What do you guys think. This is the story that the pilot will tell you straight out.

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