NTSB Identification: SEA97LA156.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 29, 1997 in NEWPORT, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Stiritz EIPPER MX II, registration: N15TJ
Injuries: 2 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.

The pilot was flying his friends and family on numerous flights in his homebuilt airplane on the day of the accident. During the final flight, the pilot and and a passenger climbed to 3,000 feet above ground level (agl) and began an intentional spiraling descent. During the descent, and about 1,500 feet agl, the right wing collapsed at a point located about 5 feet outboard from the cabin area. The airplane began an uncontrolled descent and the pilot deployed his ballistic parachute system. The airplane settled onto trees and both occupants were uninjured. The pilot reported that the bolt holding the right lower trailing edge wing lift cable had failed, and that the bolt was not AN hardware like the bolts that held the other lift and drag cables. An examination of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane had been built and maintained by the pilot. About one year prior to the accident, the pilot logged that he had performed a condition inspection, and that the airplane was safe for flight.

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

The failure of the owner/builder to adequately inspect his homebuilt aircraft, which subsequently led to the failure of the right wing lift cable attach bolt and resulted in the collapse of the right wing during flight.

Full narrative available

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