NTSB Identification: MKC89FA136.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39376.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 1989 in EARLE, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN AT-6D, registration: N3931S
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.

THE PLT WAS PRACTICING HIS ROUTINE FOR AN AIR SHOW THAT WAS TO OCCUR LATER THE SAME DAY. ONE WITNESS RPRTD THE ACFT APCHD THE ARPT FROM THE WEST 'LOW & SLOW' AS IF TO LAND, THEN IT WAS MANEUVERED TO AN INVERTED ATTITUDE OVER RWY 8 AT 50 TO 100 FT AGL. AFTER REMAINING INVERTED FOR A SHORT TIME, THE ACFT WAS ROLLED BACK TO AN UPRIGHT ATTITUDE. HOWEVER, AS THE ACFT ROLLED UPRIGHT, IT ANGLED TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE RWY, DESCENDED & CRASHED ON A HDG OF 140 DEG. THE WITNESS SAID THE ACFT SEEMED TO 'SLIP' SIDEWAY AS IT ROLLED TO THE UPRIGHT PSN BEFORE CRASHING. AFTER IMPACT, A FIRE ERUPTED & THE ACFT WAS DESTROYED. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT WAS FOUND. THE PLT WAS A FORMER ASTRONAUT THAT WAS EMPLOYED BY NASA. HE HAD VISITED WITH A PROMINANT AT-6 PLT & HAD EXPRESSED SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE AT-6 PLT'S ROUTINE INVOLVING INVERTED FLT. THE AT-6 PLT HAD PROVIDED INFO, BUT ADZD THE ASTRONAUT AGAINST PERFORMING ROLLS IN THE AT-6 AT LOW ALT.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION AND OVER CONFIDENCE IN HIS FLYING ABILITY, WHICH RESULTED IN A LOSS OF CONTROL, WHILE MANEUVERING AT LOW ALTITUDE. THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE ALTITUDE AND AIRPEED WERE CONSIDERED TO BE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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