NTSB Identification: CHI00FA170.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 23, 2000 in LAKEVILLE, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2001
Aircraft: Aeronca 7AC, registration: N81681
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 airplane impacted terrain following an in-flight loss of control while on approach to runway 12. The front seat pilot was fatally injured and the pilot rated rear seat occupant was seriously injured. A witness stated, "On several of these approaches, I noticed that the nose would rise to above level flight slightly during or after the turn, and it appeared that the application of right rudder was used to force the nose to align with the runway causing a skid during a portion of the turn. ... I commented to my wife that the technique used would likely be disastrous some day for whoever was flying the plane. ... It was apparent that the same techniques were being used on this approach, and suddenly the right wing started down, rotation began and the aircraft contacted the ground nearly straight down, maybe a block from the end of the runway facing west/northwest. The close in base leg with relatively flat turn (bank angle) and skid from right rudder application were visible before the roll started. The engine was audible, sounding as though normal full throttle had been applied, in an attempt to recover from the obvious spin that had begun. The aircraft spun to the right and hit the ground." Another witness stated, " I do not believe he was belted in - when I looked into the cockpit to check on pilot (female front seat) the rear seat belt on left side appeared to be somewhat neatly tucked in next to the seat. The right side belt was hanging out of the aircraft, which was the side he came out of." The pilot rated rear seat occupant stated that the aircraft did not have a nose up attitude before it nosed over. He stated that he and the front seat pilot were alternating flying the takeoffs and landings. He said the front pilot was flying the accident approach to land. The pilot did not describe a typical pattern when asked. He stated there was no binding in the aircraft controls and the engine was performing normally. The airplane's operator endorsed both pilots' applications for their instructor ratings. Leading edge nicks and chordwise abrasion were found on both propeller blades. Flight control continuity was established to all control surfaces. The engine exhibited a thumb compression at all cylinders. The magnetos produced a spark when rotated by hand. Control continuity to the engine was established. An aluminum colored seat belt end from the rear seat was found detached from the fastener that secured it. That fitting's hole was found deformed and a section was torn in the radius area about that hole.

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

the pilot not maintaining aircraft control and the stall/spin she encountered during the approach on base to final. A factor was the pilot passenger not detecting the remedial action needed to correct the aircraft's nose up attitude during the approach.

Full narrative available

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