NTSB Identification: FTW97LA209.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 01, 1997 in LAKE JACKSON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Giertz VMAX PROBE, registration: N1200M
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 designed, and built the aircraft. He was conducting the aircraft's initial test flight and was not wearing a helmet. Witnesses reported that immediately after takeoff it appeared that the 'aircraft was being over controlled until it was halfway down the runway.' Downwind the pilot reported by radio he had 'good control,' the engine's temperature was 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and he was returning to land. Witnesses observed the aircraft turn final approach to runway 35 in a stable attitude and in a descent. Approximately 5 to 20 feet above the runway, the 'aircraft lost directional stability in yaw mode then pitched abruptly toward the ground.' The aircraft impacted the runway, 'bounced up and went knife edge to the ground.' The aircraft impacted the runway about 625 feet from the initial impact point, and slid 625 feet to a stop inverted. Examination of the flight controls revealed no discontinuity that may have existed prior to the aircraft impacting the ground. The 63 year old pilot became qualified as a private pilot on January 9, 1982. According to his pilot log book he had a total flight time of 261.0 hours, and he had logged 8 hours within the last 90 days.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during an approach to landing. A related factor was the pilot's lack of experience in make and model of aircraft. Full narrative available
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