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In the meantime, the pictures of the wreckage tells a fascinating tale of impact energy, dissipated by a cabin constructed of aluminum, with impact loads absorbed by the Belite Ultracub’s lightweight and strong boxed aluminum structure.

He was fine, but in some sort of reasonable shock as to what had just happened.

If I wanted to add more strength to the cabin, I would add it on the side boxes, but this would be at the expense of weight, and FAR Part 103 is always a balancing act between the mandate for low aircraft weight and safety.

According to the law, it’s more important that the aircraft be light than it be strong. Part 103 is not a safety standard, it is a weight standard. Another concern is lacerations caused by sheet metal.

The front cross box is clearly visible, just above the control stick, with two lightening round holes of about 3” diameter. In the event that it had failed, the pilot’s head and torso are likely to have impacted forward, with severe consequences.

These boxes are constructed from square tubes with very thin walls and from a front side and a backside continuous aluminum frame/gusset, which spans the entire length of the tube. Not visible below the pilot’s seat is what I call a “butt plate”, which is an aluminum plate with angle reinforcements below and extra gussets. It connects to two of the cross boxes, and the pilot seat sits on top of the butt plate. Our cheap $12 fuel tank from the home improvement store held together without any problems.

One tail feather had a minor bend in the Chromalloy steel, also easily repaired.

The engine has been repaired, and is awaiting installation.

A new Ivoprop composite propeller will be on the rebuilt aircraft.