NTSB Identification: SEA97FA037.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 14, 1996 in EAGLE POINT, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Bellanca 8KCAB, registration: N278ML
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

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.

The aerobatics flight instructor (first pilot) intentionally entered an inverted left spin (using left rudder) to demonstrate the maneuver to his student (second pilot). The instructor was unable to recover from the spin after about 5 or 6 rotations, so he asked the student to help him. The student stated that he applied full right rudder and noted that it was already in the full right travel position. The student also stated that the instructor was probably not 'on the controls' at the time, and that engine power was reduced at spin initiation and did not change. The instructor subsequently told the student to bail out, which he did successfully about 250 feet above the ground. The airplane, with the instructor still strapped in the rear seat, impacted the ground and was destroyed. An examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical deficiencies. The rudder was found in the full left (left pedal) position at the accident site, and one propeller blade exhibited damage typical with some applied power at impact. The instructor had about 18 hours of total time in type, and had not flown during the previous 30 days. The airplane was 52 pounds over gross weight at the time of accident.

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

The failure of the first pilot (flight instructor) to initiate proper aircraft control, and his failure to perform the adequate remedial action to recover from an intentional inverted spin.

Full narrative available

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