NTSB Identification: ATL98LA045.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 17, 1998 in NEW SMYRNA BEAC, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Pitts S-2A, registration: N32TP
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 reported that they were performing flat spin maneuvers when the propeller assembly stopped turning, and the engine quit. Attempts, by the pilot, to restart the engine, failed. The pilot surveyed the immediate area for an emergency landing area. The pilot selected a landfill for an emergency landing. The airplane touched down on the main landing gear, sank into the soft soil, and flipped over on the left side. Examination of the airplane disclosed that the starter drive assembly was stuck, and it was also jammed against the engine flywheel. The starter drive assembly was described as being 'gummed up'. After the starter drive assembly was freed the engine started normally. According to the Chief Test Pilot for Aviat Aircraft Inc, Pitts Aviation Enterprises, Inc., and other S-2A pilots, it is not uncommon for the S-2A to experience a loss of engine power during the execution of a flat spin. The normal restart procedure requires the use of the starter assembly. Examination maintenance records disclosed that the airframe maintenance procedures were completed in accordance with prescribed procedures.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and, the jammed engine starter drive assembly, that prevented an engine restart in flight. A factor was the soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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