NTSB Identification: LAX89FA178.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43015.
Accident occurred Thursday, May 04, 1989 in STOCKTON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/07/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-201T, registration: N8133A
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.

PRIOR TO DEPARTURE THE PILOT INDICATED THAT HE MIGHT TRY TO ROLL HIS AIRPLANE DURING HIS RETURN FLIGHT HOME. DURING THE FLIGHT THE PILOT WAS RECEIVING VFR RADAR TRAFFIC ADVISORIES WHILE CRUISING BETWEEN 8,400 AND 8,600 FT. AT 1629:23 THE AIRPLANE'S TRANSPONDER INDICATED IT WAS AT 8,600 FT. 12 SECS LATER IT WAS AT 7,800 FT, AND THEN 4 SECS LATER THE CONTROLLER HEARD AN ELT. AT 1629:45 THE CONTROLLER HEARD A MAYDAY AND RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE DESCENDING IN A 60-90 DEG NOSE-DOWN ATTITUDE. BOTH WINGS, VERTICAL STABILIZER, RUDDER, AND STABILATOR SEPARATED IN FLIGHT. NO RECORD OF THE PILOT RECEIVING AEROBATIC INSTRUCTION.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER DECISION TO PERFORM AEROBATICS WHICH RESULTED IN THE DESIGN STRESS LIMITS OF THE AIRPLANE BEING EXCEEDED DUE TO EXCESSIVE AIRSPEED. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THE ACCIDENT WERE THE PILOT'S OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIS AND THE AIRPLANE'S ABILITY, AND HIS LACK OF AEROBATIC FLIGHT EXPERIENCE.

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