Dear Friends of SOAR

Feb, 2002

The purpose of the test was to verify the forward stability of the aircraft with its new tail wheel-locking pin. We felt optimistic. Each test we have done, we video, reviewing the test trying to establish the best way to handle the prototype aircraft. No one knows how the 109 will react. This was not done before. We have videos of the test, unfortunately the cameraman seeing what was happening became alarmed and that is why the camera is pointing up in the air, losing the moment of the accident. We are still trying to determine the extent of the damage. What we know so far is that both landing gear uplock pins are damaged, the lower fuel tank, both ailerons, both sheet metal cowlings damaged. We believe the prop is not repairable. We don't think that there was any damage to the engine because the prop was still turning after making a 360 loop. I shut the engine down, the ground contact didn't.
We have removed all the damaged sections and are in the process of replacing both ailerons by Tuesday morning. The prop and the gear will be given to a subcontractor to determine whether it is repairable or if it has to be replaced. I will be attempting to make copies of the video and will forward it.
Best personal regards to all my comrades and thank all of you for your concern.

Al Rubenbauer

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