NTSB Identification: NYC95LA138.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 02, 1995 in MALONE, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/21/1996
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN F-51D, registration: N51KF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 F-51 WAS THE LEAD AIRPLANE OF A FLIGHT OF TWO AT AN AIRSHOW. AFTER COMPLETING A PASS OVER THE RUNWAY, THE TWO AIRPLANES SEPARATED, AND THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE ENTERED A 90 DEGREE TURN TO THE RIGHT. AT THE COMPLETION OF THE TURN, THE NOSE DROPPED, AND THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED WHILE IN A RIGHT ROTATION, AND IMPACTED THE GROUND. A VIDEO TAPE OF THE ACCIDENT WAS REVIEWED BY PERSONNEL OF THE COMPANY, WHO TRAINED THE PILOT IN THE F-51. THEY REPORTED THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE AIRPLANE WERE CONSISTENT WITH AN ACCELERATED STALL AND LACK OF RECOVERY BEFORE GROUND IMPACT. ADDITIONALLY, THEY REPORTED THAT THE PILOT HAD NOT COMPLETED A CHECKOUT IN THE F-51, THOUGH HE HAD AN ESTIMATED 150 HOURS IN THE AIRPLANE. THE AIRPLANE HELD ABOUT TWICE THE NORMAL AMOUNT OF FUEL. IT HAD BEEN FUELED TO CAPACITY BEFORE DEPARTURE, WHICH RESULTED IN A HIGHER THAN NORMAL GROSS WEIGHT.

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

the pilot's improper use of the flight controls, which resulted in an accelerated stall, an in-flight loss of control, and an uncontrolled descent to the ground. A factor relating to the accident was: the pilot's decision to fly the airplane in an airshow environment without completing an entire checkout program.

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