NTSB Identification: MKC86FA151.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 33068.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 19, 1986 in SHELDAHL, IA
Aircraft: WHITTMAN WD (BIGX), registration: N31637
Injuries: 3 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.

WITNESSES STATE THAT THEY SAW TWO AIRPLANES, ONE SILVER AND ONE RED, CLIMBING NORTHBOUND TO CRUISE ALTITUDE IN LOOSE FORMATION WHEN THE RED AIRCRAFT'S ENGINE BACKFIRED AND THE ANTIQUE FABRIC-COVERED AIRCRAFT STARTED BURNING. FLAMES FIVE TO EIGHT FEET IN LENGTH BEGAN CONSUMING THE AIRCRAFT'S LEFT BOTTOM ENGINE COMPARTMENT AND FUSELAGE UNDERSIDE AS THE PILOT WAS ATTEMPTING AN EMERGENCY DESCENT INTO A SOY BEAN FIELD, ACCORDING TO WITNESSES. THE AIRCRAFT HAD THE FIELD MADE, AND WAS AT APPROXIMATELY FIVE HUNDRED FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL WHEN THE LEFT WING CAUGHT FIRE, THE AIRCRAFT FLIPPED INVERTED, AND NOSED DIVED INTO THE SOY BEAN FIELD WHERE IT EXPLODED ON IMPACT.

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

EXHAUST SYSTEM,STACK..LEAK

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

WING..BURNED

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

FUEL SYSTEM,CARBURETOR..FUMES


Contributing Factors

PROCEDURES/DIRECTIVES..NOT FOLLOWED..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

FUSELAGE,SKIN..BURNED

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