NTSB Identification: FTW96FA239.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 07, 1996 in LONGVIEW, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: Fredenburg CHALLENGER II, registration: N2087P
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.

During the landing, the ultralight kit airplane struck a ditch trencher, trailer, and trees. Prior to the impact, witnesses heard the engine at idle, the pilot 'gave a little gas' and the 'motor revved.' Flight control continuity was confirmed. Examination did not reveal any water or debris in the fuel system nor engine anomalies that would have contributed to the accident. The commercial pilot-in-command, who held neither an FAA medical certificate nor a flight instructor certificate, was flying with the owner/student pilot until the owner became familiar with the Challenger II. In 1991, the commercial pilot-in-command received a 0.5 hour introductory flight in a Challenger II airplane. He had flown a single seat ultralight vehicle for 85.5 hours in the 15 months prior to the accident. In May 1996, he had completed '3 or 4 landings' solo in the Challenger II and flown 2.5 hours with the current owner/student pilot. The student pilot/owner had received 7.4 hours dual instruction in an ultralight vehicle and was endorsed to solo the Challenger ultralight. The owner had signed the document to place the Challenger under an ultralight vehicle registration; however, the airplane was still registered with the FAA as an experimental airplane at the time of the accident.

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

the pilot-in-command's failure to maintain airspeed. A factor was the pilot's lack of total experience in the make/model.

Full narrative available

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