NTSB Identification: LAX92LA050.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45861.
Accident occurred Friday, November 22, 1991 in SAN YSIDRO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/27/1993
Aircraft: SPEYER AVID AMPHIBIAN, registration: N118A
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 CERTIFICATED COMMERCIAL PILOT, THE SOLE OCCUPANT, WAS CONDUCTING FLIGHT TESTS ON A NEWLY MANUFACTURED EXPERIMENTAL, AMATEUR BUILT AIRPLANE. WHILE ORBITING OVER AN AIRPORT, THE PILOT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY AND WAS OBSERVED DESCENDING IN A LEFT SPIRALLING DIVE. THE LEFT FLAPERON AND LEFT WING SEPARATED FROM THE FUSELAGE. THE PILOT, WHO WAS WEARING A PARACHUTE, ATTEMPTED TO BAIL OUT OF THE AIRPLANE AT LOW ALTITUDE. THE PARACHUTE FAILED TO SUFFICIENTLY OPEN DUE TO THE LOW ALTITUDE. AN EXAMINATION OF THE SEPARATED FLAPERON DISCLOSED CYCLIC OVERLOAD AND OVERTRAVEL ATTRIBUTED TO FLUTTER. FLAPERON COUNTER WEIGHTS WERE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER TO PREVENT FLUTTER. THE PILOT ELECTED NOT TO INSTALL THE COUNTER WEIGHTS BECAUSE IT WOULD IMPOSE AN ADDITION OF WEIGHT, AND THE PILOT FELT THAT THEY WERE NOT NEEDED.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT/BUILDER TO FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDED AIRFRAME MODIFICATION PROCEDURE TO PREVENT THE INFLIGHT LOSS OF A FLAPERON DUE TO FLUTTER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS IN INFLIGHT SEPARATION OF THE WING WHEN THE DESIGN LIMITS OF THE AIRFRAME WERE EXCEEDED.

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