NTSB Identification: LAX97LA155.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 11, 1997 in YUMA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Gordon Price ULTIMATE 10-300S, registration: N325GP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
An air show routine was being performed at sunset, which involved a giant ring of flames at center stage of the show. Once established on the last pass through the ring of fire, the pilot planned to fly inverted and cut a ribbon with the propeller blades. She reported that while flying inverted during the third pass, the airplane impacted the ground. The pilot stated that she remembered the turn-around, rolling inverted, and establishing her sight picture for the run-in. However, the next few seconds were a total blank in her memory, with her visual picture resuming with the sparks created by the inverted slide. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical difficulties with the airplane. An FAA inspector reported that the 'Ring of Fire' routine required the pilot to fly directly into the setting sun, then turn around for the inverted pass. The inspector established on-scene that no mechanical or engine abnormalities had occurred.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain adequate vertical clearance from the runway, while flying inverted. Factors relating to the accident were: the light conditions at dusk, and the pilot's lack of visual ques due to the light conditions. Full narrative available
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