NTSB Identification: CHI85FA013.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 27280.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 11, 1984 in ST. CLOUD, MN
Aircraft: HARBAUGH JOHN T COUGAR-1, registration: N3227X
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 HOMEBUILT ACFT CRASHED WHILE ATTEMPTING AN EMERGENCY LNDG IN A FARMERS FIELD. THE FINAL TURN TO LAND WAS STEEPENED TO AVOID A HOUSE. THE ACFT FLIPPED OVER AND CONTACTED THE GROUND IN AN INVERTED, LEFT WING & NOSE DWN ATTITUDE WHICH RESULTED IN A 180 DEGREE REVERSAL BEFORE FINAL IMPACT. THE PLT/OWNER/BUILDER HAD BEEN IN THE PROCESS OF COMPLETING THE ACFT FOR 20 YRS. HE HAD COME TO THE ARPT ON THE ACC DAY TO WORK ON THE ACFT AGAIN BUT INSTEAD DECIDED TO TRY A MAIDEN FLT. THE FLT LASTED 40 MINUTES. WITNESSES NOTICED THE ACFT FLYING ERRATICALLY AND LOSING ALT AS IT FLEW WEST ALONG THE HIWAY RETURNING TOWARD THE ARPT OF DEPARTURE. IT CRASHED INTO A CORNFIELD ABOUT 3 MILES FROM THE ARPT. INVESTIGATION OF THE ACFT WRECKAGE SHOWED SEVERAL IRREGULARITIES IN CONSTRUCTION METHODS & ASSEMBLY STANDARDS. MAINTENANCE PERFORMED WAS ALSO SUBSTANDARD. NO PROBLEMS OF APHYSICAL NATURE FOR THE 61 YR OLD PLT WERE DISCOVERED DURING AUTOPSY.

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

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

JUDGMENT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

MAINTENANCE,INSPECTION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

STALL/SPIN..NOT CORRECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LACK OF RECENT EXPERIENCE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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