NTSB Identification: SEA96LA212.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 11, 1996 in SUPERIOR, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: Grazier QUICKIE 2, registration: N73QQ
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 pilot worked on the engine of his amateur-built experimental airplane before taking off. Starting the engine required use of a jump-start. The airplane did not have a magneto ignition, but relied on a battery-coil ignition system. After takeoff, the airplane climbed to about 600 feet above ground level. Witnesses observed the airplane enter a steep turn to reverse course back toward the airport. During the turn, the airplane's nose dropped abruptly, and the airplane 'nose-dived' into wooded terrain. A witness, who was driving on an adjacent highway at 68 mph, noted that before the accident, the airplane was flying slower than the witness's vehicle was traveling. Level flight stall speed of the airplane was listed as 64 mph. During the investigation, no preimpact mechanical discrepancy was found, other than a bad cell in the battery. There was evidence, however, that the propeller was not turning when the airplane crashed.

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

loss of engine power after takeoff for undetermined reason(s), and failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed, while maneuvering to return to the departure airport, which resulted in a stall and collision with wooded terrain.

Full narrative available

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