NTSB Identification: SEA97LA011.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 11, 1996 in TILLAMOOK, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: Aero Vodochody Aero. Works L-29, registration: N7150A
Injuries: 2 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 Checkoslovakian manufactured Aero Vodochody L-29 jet trainer collided with terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering at low altitude. Before the accident, the aircraft was maneuvering into position to photograph an F4F Wildcat aircraft. Witnesses reported that the aircraft took off and maneuvered to overtake the Wildcat. They stated that as the L-29 crossed behind the F4F's flight path, it rolled to the right, approximately 1-1/4 turns. Reportedly, the L-29's nose pitched up during the occurrence, then dropped to an extremely nose-low position. The aircraft subsequently impacted the ground in a near level attitude with a steep flight path angle. The witnesses reported that the sequence took place at an estimated airspeed between 120 and 150 knots and about 500 feet above ground level. The witnesses also reported that the two aircraft did not collide. A guide to world military aircraft gives the airplane's flaps-down stall speed as 81 MPH (70 knots) at 7165 pounds gross weight. One witness stated the pilot had performed a 'barrel' roll type of maneuver; the witness believed this was an intentional maneuver to slow down, as he was overtaking the F4f. The investigation did not determine whether the aircraft had encountered wake turbulence, or whether it had stalled and/or dished out during the maneuver.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the aircraft, while maneuvering behind an F4F aircraft. The lack of altitude for a recovery was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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