NTSB Identification: CHI96FA005.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 08, 1995 in WAUKEGAN, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1996
Aircraft: BLATTER-PITTS S2S, registration: N61AC
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.

The airshow pilot was performing a series of shoulder rolls 250 to 300 feet above the ground. The airplane completed a fifth rolling maneuver when it began a descent towards the runway. The airplane collided with the runway and slid off onto the clearway area next to the runway. The on-scene investigation revealed no control system, engine, or propeller failure. The pilot had received his low altitude aerobatic waiver about 1 month before the accident. An airshow promoter/witness said the pilot kept losing altitude during the maneuvers he was performing. The airplane's builder and advanced aerobatic competititor told the pilot's manager that the pilot was not ready to fly the airshow circuit. The airplane's center of gravity was about 3/4-inch aft of the rear limit.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during the aerobatic maneuver. Factors associated with the accident were: an improper weight and balance with a center of gravity aft of the rear limit, the pilot's overconfidence in his personal ability, and his lack of total experience in the aerobatic maneuver being performed.

Full narrative available

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