NTSB Identification: LAX00LA128.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 15, 2000 in BUCKEYE, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Aero Commander 100, registration: N3896X
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A witness observed the airplane, while in cruise flight, as the right wing dipped to a near vertical position followed by the airplane diving into the ground. The witness went to the accident site where he found the pilot kneeling beside the wreckage. According to the witness, the pilot stated he was not trying to land at a nearby airport, but was 'screwing around.' The local sheriff's office report of the accident indicated that the pilot reported flying at 200 feet above the ground when he reduced power to observe the airplane's glide capability at that height. According to the sheriff's report, the pilot further stated that a wind gust resulted in the left wing dropping. When the pilot corrected for the gust, he overcompensated, lost control, and the airplane flew into the ground. The pilot has a student pilot certificate with no solo endorsement for the Commander 100. His last solo endorsement was for a Cessna 152 dated March 10, 1987. The last flight entry in his pilot logbook was dated July 10, 1999, and indicated a flight in the accident airplane.

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

The pilot's improper judgment and his failure to maintain clearance from the ground. A factor was the pilot's lack of recent experience.

Full narrative available

Index for Mar2000 | Index of months