NTSB Identification: LAX87FA341.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36392.
Accident occurred Sunday, September 20, 1987 in SONOMA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/16/1989
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7ECA, registration: N8598V
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 70-HOUR STUDENT PLT HAD RECENTLY PASSED THE PVT PLT WRITTEN EXAM & HAD COMPLETED MOST OF THE FLT TRNG FOR CERTIFICATION. HE WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO BECOMING A LICENSED PLT. WHILE ON A PERSONAL FLT, THE PLT FLEW OVER HIS BROTHER'S RESIDENCE & WAS OBSERVED TO ROCK THE ACFT'S WINGS BACK & FORTH. THE PLT THEN FLEW OVER HIS OWN HOUSE. WHILE CIRCLING AT BETWEEN 300 & 500 FT. AGL, THE PLT'S MOTHER SAW THE ACFT & WAVED. SHE REPORTED THAT HER SON 'WIGGLED' THE ACFT'S WINGS. THEN, AS THE MOTHER WATCHED, THE ACFT'S BANK STEEPENED. NUMEROUS WITNESSES REPORTED THE ACFT'S BANK ANGLE INCREASED TO 90 (OR MORE) DEGREES, & THE ACFT RAPIDLY DESCENDED UNTIL IT CRASHED INTO A NEIGHBOR'S BACKYARD WHILE IN A 60 DEG. PITCH DOWN ATTITUDE. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF ANY PREIMPACT FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ACFT OR ITS ENG.

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

FLIGHT CONTROLS..IMPROPER USE OF..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

PROPER ALTITUDE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRSPEED..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

STALL/SPIN..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

DIVERTED ATTENTION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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