NTSB Identification: ATL90FA007.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41732.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 15, 1989 in AXIS, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/1992
Aircraft: VULTEE BT-13, registration: N56381
Injuries: 2 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 REGISTERED OWNER OF THE AIRPLANE & A PILOT RATED FRIEND WERE FLYING LAZY 8 MANEUVERS AT LOW ALTITUDE IN THE NEWLY PURCHASED WWII TRAINER. THE OWNER HAD FLOWN THE AIRPLANE WHILE SERVING IN THE MILITARY & WAS A CURRENT CIVILIAN INSTRUCTOR PILOT. ACCORDING TO A WITNESS, THE AIRPLANE ENTERED A DESCENT, PITCHED UP SHARPLY, THEN ENTERED A 'SPIRAL' THAT CONTINUED UNTIL IMPACT WITH THE GROUND. THE ENGINE WAS REPORTED TO BE OPERATING AT HIGH POWER, WHEN THE AIRPLANE CRASHED. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE WAS FOUND. A POST MORTEM EXAM OF THE FRONT SEAT OCCUPANT (THE PILOT'S FRIEND) REVEALED THAT HE WAS FATALLY INJURED BY BLUNT FORCE INJURIES. HOWEVER, THE EXAM ALSO REVEALED THE FRONT SEAT OCCUPANT HAD 80% (FOCAL) NARROWING OF THE PROXIMAL LEFT ANTERIOR DESCENDING CORONARY ARTERY, WITH ACUTE THROMBOSIS (AGONAL).

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

THE AIRCRAFT INADVERTENTLY ENTERED A STALL, WHEN THE PILOT/PASSENGER HAD A HEART ATTACK. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: LACK OF ALTITUDE FOR THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND TO RECOVER FROM THE STALL.

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