NTSB Identification: BFO93FA188.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 28, 1993 in CHARLES CITY, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/17/1994
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-CD, registration: N4576B
Injuries: 2 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.

THE AIRPLANE WAS ON A VFR LOCAL FLIGHT WHEN AN IN-FLIGHT BREAK-UP OCCURRED. WRECKAGE WAS SCATTERED OVER A HALF SQUARE MILE AREA. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT THE CENTER SECTION BEAM ASSEMBLY (ATTACHED TO THE WINGS FRONT SPARS) FAILED IN POSITIVE OVERLOAD. ALL FRACTURE SURFACES EXHIBITED FEATURES TYPICAL OF OVERSTRESS. PRIMARY RADAR RETURNS ( REFLECTION OF RADAR SIGNAL WHICH INDICATE A TWO DIMENSIONAL POSITION IN SPACE -RANGE AND AZIMUTH) WERE THE ONLY DATA RECORDED FOR THE AIRPLANE. SECONDARY DATA, WHICH REPORTS THE ALTITUDE OF AN AIRPLANE, WERE NOT RECORDED. NO OTHER AIRCRAFT WERE RECORDED ON RADAR NEAR THE ACCIDENT AREA AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, THERE WERE NO SIGNIFICANT WEATHER REPORTS ISSUED FOR THE ACCIDENT AREA. THE POST ACCIDENT EXAMINATIONS OF THE AIRFRAME AND ENGINE DID NOT REVEAL ANY ANOMALIES. AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, THE AIRPLANE HAD ACCUMULATED A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 2,2421 HOURS AND HAD A 100 HOUR INSPECTION ABOUT 71 HOURS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.

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

the pilot exceeded the design stress limits of the airplane which resulted in an in-flight break-up.

Full narrative available

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