NTSB Identification: CHI96LA269.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 30, 1996 in MT VERNON, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/23/1996
Aircraft: VANWINKLE KITFOX, registration: N8200Q
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 airplane was found three days after it was declared missing. It had been consumed by fire after a collision with trees. Examination of wreckage revealed no mechanical anomaly that would have prevented normal flight. A witness said he observed the airplane flying level near the departure airport. He said it was at an altitude equal to other airplanes departing and arriving at the airport. The witness said the airplane suddenly pitched down, descended below trees, and did not come back up. He said he did not call the authorities because he did not hear a crash or see smoke. Also, he said the weather was clear and sunny. The coroner was an FAA DME (designated medical examiner). He said he had denied the accident pilot a medical certificate due to heart disease, but the pilot appealed his decision and was given a special medical certificate. A toxicology test and autopsy were inconclusive due to inadequate or unsuitable specimens.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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