NTSB Identification: LAX93LA276.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50274.
Accident occurred Sunday, July 04, 1993 in SAMOA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/1993
Aircraft: CURTIS RANS S-12, registration: N410ZE
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.

SEVERAL WITNESSES REPORTED THAT THE AIRPLANE, WHICH HAS A REAR MOUNTED ENGINE, SEEMED TO BE HAVING SOME DIFFICULTY WITH CONTROLLABILITY DUE TO THE HIGH WINDS IN THE AREA. THE CONSENSUS WAS THAT THE AIRPLANE APPEARED TO ENTER A STALL, AND THEN IT SPUN SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE IMPACTING THE GROUND. THE AIRCRAFT BALLISTIC PARACHUTE SYSTEM WAS MANUALLY DEPLOYED BY THE PILOT, BUT DID NOT INFLATE BEHIND THE AIRPLANE. THE PARACHUTE WAS FOUND ENTANGLED IN THE CRANKSHAFT JUST FORWARD OF THE PROPELLER. THE PARACHUTE OWNERS MANUAL STATES THE ENGINE SHOULD BE STOPPED PRIOR TO DEPLOYMENT OF THE PARACHUTE. IT ALSO RECOMMENDS NOT DEPLOYING THE PARACHUTE IN 'STRONG WINDS OR CONVECTION', ALTHOUGH NO SPECIFIC GUIDELINES WERE FOUND FOR THE PILOT TO FOLLOW IN THE EVENT HE ENCOUNTERED SUCH PHENOMENA. A SENIOR TECHNICIAN WHO WORKED AT THE PARACHUTE MANUFACTURER APPROVED THE INSTALLATION OF THE PARACHUTE PER PHOTO DOCUMENTATION, AS REQUIRED BY THE MANUFACTURER. THE COMPANY COULD NOT PROVIDE A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE APPROVAL. THE MANUAL DOES NOT ADDRESS A MINIMUM RECOMMENDED ALTITUDE OR A MINIMUM SPEED FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE PARACHUTE. POST CRASH INVESTIGATION FAILED TO FIND ANY PRE EXISTING FAILURE/MALFUNCTION OF THE PROPELLER OR POWERPLANT.

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

THE INADVERTENT STALL OF THE AIRPLANE. FACTORS RELATED TO THIS ACCIDENT WERE: THE EMERGENCY PARACHUTE SYSTEM THAT WAS DEPLOYED BY THE PILOT, THE PARTIAL FAILURE OF THE PARACHUTE SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT TO DEPLOY PROPERLY, AND THE INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE AIRCRAFT PARACHUTE MANUFACTURER.

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