NTSB Identification: LAX96FA131.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 10, 1996 in PEORIA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1996
Aircraft: Varga 2180A, registration: N5065V
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.

Four pilot witnesses saw the airplane take off on runway 5L. One witness reported that the airplane settled after becoming airborne as the pilot retracted the flaps. After climbing to about 150 to 175 feet above ground level, the airplane was observed to enter a left turn. During the turn, the airplane went into a steep angle of bank, then it entered a spin and an uncontrolled descent. It struck the ground in a nose down attitude, and a postimpact fire erupted. No evidence of mechanical failure or malfunction was found. Regarding takeoffs from airports, the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) states that if remaining in the traffic pattern, commence turn beyond the departure end of the runway, within 300 feet of the pattern altitude; if departing the traffic pattern, continue straight out or exit with a 45 degree turn beyond the departure end of the runway, after reaching pattern altitude.

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

failure of the pilot to obtain or maintain adequate airspeed for turning (maneuvering) after takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. The lack of altitude for stall/spin recovery was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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