NTSB Identification: SEA00LA136.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 2000 in HAMILTON, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-D, registration: N93835
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.

Although the person piloting the aircraft had recently been issued a third class medical/student pilots certificate, he had not received instruction in an airplane for over 20 years, and did not have an endorsement to fly an airplane solo. Nevertheless, he undertook a flight to reposition the aircraft from his private airstrip to the location where he planned to take flight instruction. While attempting to land at that location, the pilot allowed the aircraft to contact the runway while in an excessive rate of descent. The impact was hard enough to collapse the nose gear, damage the firewall, shatter the gasculator bowl, fracture a fuel line fitting, and result in the aircraft bouncing back into the air. The aircraft then hit the runway hard a second time, whereupon it slid along the surface with flames emanating from the aft area of the engine compartment. By the time the aircraft came to a stop, much of the forward half was engulfed in flames. Although the pilot was able to exit the aircraft unassisted, he later succumbed to the extensive thermal injuries he sustained during the accident sequence.

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

The excessive rate at which the student pilot allowed the aircraft to descend into the runway surface while attempting to land. Factors include the pilot's lack of experience in airplanes.

Full narrative available

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