NTSB Identification: ATL95FA092.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 27, 1995 in STEVENSON, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/12/1995
Aircraft: WITTMAN O&O, registration: N41SW
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.

REPORTS FROM GROUND WITNESSES, NONE OF WHOM ACTUALLY SAW THE AIRPLANE, VARIED FROM HEARING A HIGH REVVING ENGINE TO AN EXPLOSION. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED THAT THE AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED AN IN-FLIGHT BREAKUP. DAMAGE AND STRUCTURAL DEFORMATION WAS INDICATIVE OF AILERON-WING FLUTTER. WING FABRIC DOPE WAS DISTRESSED OR MISSING ON THE AFT INBOARD PORTION OF THE LEFT WING UPPER SURFACE AND ALONG THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE TOP OF THE MAIN SPAR. LARGE AREAS OF DOPE WERE ALSO MISSING FROM THE LEFT WING UNDERSURFACE. THE ENTIRE FABRIC COVERING ON THE UPPER AND LOWER SURFACES OF THE RIGHT WING HAD DELAMINATED FROM THE WING PLYWOOD SKIN. THE DOPED FINISH WAS SEVERELY DISTRESSED AND MOTTLED. THE FABRIC COVERING HAD NOT BEEN INSTALLED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE POLY-FIBER COVERING AND PAINT MANUAL; THE PLYWOOD WAS NOT TREATED WITH THE POLY-BRUSH COMPOUND.

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

AILERON-WING FLUTTER INDUCED BY SEPARATION AT THE TRAILING EDGE OF AN UNBONDED PORTION OF WING FABRIC AT AN AILERON WING STATION. THE DEBONDING OF THE WING FABRIC WAS A RESULT OF IMPROPER INSTALLATION.

Full narrative available

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