NTSB Identification: LAX95LA258.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 20, 1995 in CORCORAN, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: MARGESON/HEIDEBRINK VANS RV-3, registration: N18DT
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT INDICATED THAT HE EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER WHILE CRUISING ABOUT 4,000 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND AND WAS ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A FORCED LANDING AT A PRIVATE AIRSTRIP HE NOTICED WHILE DESCENDING. A GROUND WITNESS WAS DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY AND OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT GLIDING DOWN TOWARDS A FIELD. THE WITNESS SAID THE AIRCRAFT STARTED A CLIMB FROM ABOUT 150 FEET AGL, THEN TURNED RAPIDLY TO THE LEFT AND 'CORK-SCREWED TO THE GROUND' IN A COTTON FIELD. AFTER RECOVERY OF THE AIRCRAFT FROM THE COTTON FIELD, THE AIRFRAME AND ENGINE WERE EXAMINED BY AN FAA AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR WHO FOUND NO DISCREPANCY IN EITHER THE WRECKAGE OR THE MAINTENANCE RECORDS. THE ENGINE WAS REMOVED FROM THE AIRFRAME AND SENT TO AN FAA CERTIFIED ENGINE OVERHAUL SHOP FOR EVALUATION. THE OVERHAUL SHOP FOUND NO MECHANICAL DISCREPANCIES WITH THE ENGINE.

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

a loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering for a forced landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin.

Full narrative available

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