NTSB Identification: CHI00LA043.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 12, 1999 in JAMESTOWN, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: McCarty WITTMAN W-8 TAILWIND, registration: N654
Injuries: 2 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 accident airplane was destroyed during an in-flight separation of the right wing and subsequent in-flight collision with terrain. The airplane was constructed by the owner and was certified as an experimental/amateur-built airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration. The inboard 15-inches of the right wing spar was sent to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Product Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin, for examination. According to an examination report, the accident wing spar was constructed of Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). The report stated, 'It appears that the bolt holes that were drilled through the spars to accept the 1/4-inch bolts were not all drilled perpendicular to the spar's outer surfaces.' Examination of the second hole from the inboard end, 'suggests that this particular hole was drilled twice to make the bolt for this connection fit.' The report stated, '...the holes that are on either side of the spar are not evenly spaced. There is also considerable difference in the diameter of the middle two holes relative to the diameter of the outer two holes.'

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

the wing spar failure due to its inadequate construction by the owner/builder.

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