NTSB Identification: SEA97LA212.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 18, 1997 in OAKRIDGE, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Bellanca 7KCAB, registration: N8509
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 first pilot (commercial pilot and CFI) invited the second pilot (private pilot) to fly with him on a personal flight in a tandem-seated aerobatic airplane. The first pilot sat in the rear seat behind the second pilot. During the flight, the airplane was observed to fly about 10 feet above a lake. The airplane was then observed to begin a climb over a dam and perform a barrel roll about 100 feet above the dam. During the maneuver, the airplane descended into tall trees that were located on a hillside near the lower, dry section of the dam. The engine was operating under power at the time of impact. An examination of the wreckage and the engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. An investigation revealed that the first pilot had a recent history of performing low altitude aerobatic maneuvers. He also had a recent history of performing the maneuvers himself when he took passengers or other pilots with him. No evidence was found in the autopsies to indicate that anyone other than the first pilot was manipulating the controls at impact.

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

The first pilot's decision to perform a low altitude maneuver, and his subsequent failure to maintain altitude and clearance from trees during a low altitude maneuver.

Full narrative available

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