NTSB Identification: FTW98FA340.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 31, 1998 in SEMINOLE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper J3C-85, registration: N7018H
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a nearly vertical attitude. The empennage was folded and twisted to the left. All aircraft components were found at the point of impact. There were no eye witnesses to the accident; however, the airplane was observed maneuvering at 100-500 feet agl. The pilot often performed aerial observations of his farms and looked for deer in the accident area. No preimpact discrepancies were found that would have precluded engine operation. A fuselage support tube was fractured and exhibited corrosion. NTSB Metallurgists determined that the corrosion did not penetrate completely through the thickness of the support tube and all fractures were overstress separations. The private pilot had logged 429.7 hours in the accident airplane. Density altitude was estimated at 5,600 feet. Weather data indicated a stationary front extending westward through the area with visible moisture and cumulus clouds.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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