NTSB Identification: LAX95FA043.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 03, 1994 in NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/08/1995
Aircraft: SIAI-MARCHETTI SF260C, registration: N58FD
Injuries: 2 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.

THE PURPOSE OF THE FLIGHT WAS TO ENTERTAIN A NON-PILOT MEMBER OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC BY PERMITTING HIM TO FLY HANDS-ON A HIGH PERFORMANCE MILITARY FIGHTER-LIKE LIGHT AIRPLANE DURING A SIMULATED DOG FIGHT. THE OPERATOR HAD EQUIPPED THE AIRPLANE WITH A VIDEO RECORDER FROM WHICH BOTH COCKPIT AUDIO AND VIDEO DATA WAS PRESERVED. THE PASSENGER WAS CALLED A 'GUEST FIGHTER PILOT,' AND HE WAS HANDLING THE FLIGHT CONTROLS DURING A SIMULATED AIR COMBAT MANEUVER INITIATED AROUND 5,500 FEET MEAN SEA LEVEL (MSL). THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND (PIC) ISSUED REPEATED VERBAL WARNINGS TO THE PASSENGER TO 'STAY OUT OF THE BUFFET.' HOWEVER, DURING A LEFT CLIMBING TURN THE PASSENGER STALLED THE AIRPLANE AND IT BEGAN SPINNING. AS THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED IN THE SPIN, THE PIC TOLD THE PASSENGER THREE TIMES 'I'VE GOT THE AIRPLANE.' THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED 3,600 TO 3,700-FOOT MSL TERRAIN IN A NOSE LOW AND WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE DURING THE INITIATION OF THE PULLUP RECOVERY. THE PIC WAS AN EX-MILITARY FIGHTER PILOT AND HIS CIVILIAN FLYING EXPERIENCE IN THE AIRPLANE WITH PASSENGERS WAS LIMITED, HAVING ONLY ACQUIRED EMPLOYMENT WITH THE OPERATOR 1.5 MONTHS EARLIER. THE PIC DID NOT HOLD A CFI CERTIFICATE.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane by inadvertently allowing the flying passenger to enter a stall/spin. Factors in the accident were the passenger's interference with the pilot's attempted recovery from the spin, and the pilot's lack of experience in small general aviation airplanes.

Full narrative available

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