NTSB Identification: LAX93LA005.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48062.
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 06, 1992 in EL MIRAGE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: SWICH II, registration: N4663A
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.

THE PILOT WAS CONDUCTING A LOCAL PERSONAL FLIGHT OVER A DRY LAKE TO TEST A MODIFICATION ON THE MOTORIZED GLIDER. THE PILOT TOLD FRIENDS THAT HE INTENDED TO 'DO SOME STALLS.' AFTER EXECUTING SOME BASIC TURNS AND TAKEOFFS AND LANDING, THE PILOT DEPARTED THE AREA. A WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRCRAFT IN A SPIN AND SAW IT CRASH. THE PILOT/OWNER RECENTLY INSTALLED A VERTICAL STABILIZER BETWEEN THE EXISTING RUDDERVATORS FOR BETTER LATERAL STABILITY IN THE MOTORIZED GLIDER. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE DISCLOSED NO EVIDENCE OF ANY PREEXISTING CONTROL MALFUNCTIONS OR FAILURES. A HOME BUILT DESIGN ENGINEER REPORTED THAT THE INCLUSION OF THE VERTICAL STABILIZER WOULD ADVERSELY EFFECT THE SPIN RECOVERY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AIRCRAFT BY BLANKING OUT THE SIDE OF THE RUDDERVATOR OPPOSITE TO THE SPIN.

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

THE PILOT/OWNER'S IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF THE VERTICAL STABILIZER. CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S INTENTIONAL STALL, INADVERTENT SPIN, AND INABILITY TO RECOVER FROM THE SPIN DUE TO THE INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT (VERTICAL STABILIZER) DESIGN.

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