NTSB Identification: DEN91FA037.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43414.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 26, 1991 in OLTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/05/1993
Aircraft: BELLANCA 17-30A, registration: N4035B
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.

THE PILOT/MECHANIC HAD JUST COMPLETED AN ANNUAL 100 HOUR INSPECTION OF THE AIRPLANE, A BELLANCA 17 30A SUPER VIKING, AND THIS WAS TO BE A MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHT PRIOR TO DELIVERY TO ITS OWNER, HIS BROTHER. ONE WITNESS SAW THE AIRPLANE MOMENTARILY IN A SLIGHT CLIMB AT ABOUT 1500 FEET AGL. WHEN HE SAW THE AIRPLANE AGAIN, IT WAS ABOUT 500 FEET AGL IN A NEAR VERTICAL DIVE. TWO SECONDS BEFORE IMPACT, THE RIGHT WING FOLDED BACK BUT DID NOT SEPARATE. HIS IMPRESSION WAS THE PILOT HAD DONE A SPLIT S OR WING OVER. ANOTHER WITNESS SAW THE AIRPLANE ABOUT 15 DEGREES PAST VERTICAL WITH THE RIGHT WING SHEARED OFF. THE PILOT, A FORMER AERIAL APPLICATOR, HAD BUILT AND REPORTEDLY PERFORMED AEROBATICS IN A PITTS S 2S SPECIAL.

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

THE PILOT EXCEEDED THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRFRAME AND THE PERFORMANCE OF AEROBATICS AT AN ALTITUDE INSUFFICIENT FOR RECOVERY.

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