NTSB Identification: SEA99FA105.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 07, 1999 in ARLINGTON, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Gadbury RV-6A, registration: N5987D
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 of the experimental aircraft desired to depart to the north from an airport that was about to be closed by the FAA for an airshow. He taxied to the wrong end of the runway, and then, because he was the only pilot remaining that wished to depart prior to the closure, he was allowed to back-taxi to the north on the active runway. Upon reaching the intersection he had been cleared to, the pilot made a 180 degree turn on the runway and started his takeoff roll to the south (runway 16). After a very short takeoff roll, the aircraft climbed at what was described by witnesses as an extremely steep angle, and then started a turn to the left. The aircraft's speed slowed significantly as it reached an altitude of about 100 feet above the ground, and then it stalled and the nose dropped toward the terrain. The pilot was unable to pull out of the ensuing dive, and the aircraft impacted a parallel taxiway on a track of 020 degrees. During the investigation, it was determined that the pilot, who earned his private license less than a year prior to the accident, had owned the aircraft for less than two weeks.

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

The pilot's excessive climb rate, which lead to his failure to maintain an airspeed above stalling speed (Vs). Factors include the pilot's lack of total experience in the aircraft make and model.

Full narrative available

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