NTSB Identification: NYC99FA097.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 25, 1999 in EASTFORD, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Ives SONERAI II-L, registration: N56RA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After having breakfast with a friend, the pilot departed. No one else reported seeing him or the airplane until a witness, approximately 50 yards from the accident site, saw the airplane a little over tree top level. While staying in the vicinity of the accident site, the airplane conducted several aerobatic maneuvers. Then, while in a steep turn to the left, the right wing separated, and then the left. The engine continued to run until ground impact. Examination of fractures surfaces on the spar-box revealed cold welds, and corrosion.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Inadequate welding of the airplane's spar-box by the owner/builder, which resulted in a total spar-box failure in-flight. A factor in the accident was the pilot's decision to perform aerobatics.

Full narrative available

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