NTSB Identification: MIA01FA041.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 14, 2000 in Weston, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Christen Industries Pitts S-2B, registration: N260DB
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.

An FAA contract tower controller at the Hollywood North Perry Airport stated that at 0950 he received a radio communications transmission saying, "mayday mayday mayday pitts 260DB in an unrecoverable flat spin at 3,500 feet." The aircraft was discovered in an partially inverted, near vertical pitch attitude, in an area of heavy brush, sawgrass, and tall trees in the Everglades, in about 3 to 4 feet of water. The aircraft had incurred substantial damage, and the pilot/owner and PIC were found outside the aircraft, with both having sustained fatal injuries. An individual familiar with both pilots stated that the pilot normally flew the accident aircraft with the PIC occupying the front seat, while preparing to regain currency, and pass a biennial flight review, which had expired, but he had been having difficulty handling the aircraft, and was not yet ready for the flight review. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preaaccident failures or malfunctions to the aircraft structure, the flight controls, or the engine. Examination of N260DBs weight and balance revealed that the aircraft's weight and center of gravity limits had been exceeded. The aircraft weighed 1,745 lbs, and its estimated CG was about 90.87. According to the airplane flight manual, the airplane's weight limit in the aerobatic category is 1,625 lbs. Its forward CG limit is 89.58 at 1,625 lbs, and its most rearward CG limit is 90.50 at 1,625 lbs.

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

An inflight loss of control by both pilots while maneuvering, which resulted in an inverted flat spin, an uncontrolled descent, and an impact with terrain/water. A factor contributing to the accident was the failure of both pilots to ensure that the aircraft's weight and center of gravity limitations had not been exceeded.

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