NTSB Identification: CHI01LA131.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 06, 2001 in Valparaiso, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/04/2002
Aircraft: Madsen Lancair 320, registration: N316M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was destroyed during an in-flight collision with the terrain and subsequent explosion/post-impact fire. A witness to the accident reported the airplane started the takeoff roll at the beginning of runway 09 and appeared to be accelerating slower than normal. The witness reported, "The takeoff roll looked normal ... but the aircraft seem to roll out longer than normal for this type of aircraft ... this aircraft seemed to roll about 3,500 feet before rotation. After rotation the aircraft pitched up and down several cycles then settled down. But after the pitch cycles stopped the plane was not climbing. The landing gear was not cycled up it remained down. The plane was about 200 feet altitude when the up, down pitching began again. I noted the plane climbed about another 50 ft. Then the plane rolled to the left and entered a vertical position and impacted the ground about 1,000 ft. north of the runway centerline. Aircraft exploded on impact." The pilot had logged two flights in the accident airplane, accumulating 1.2 hours. Excluding the two previous flights in the accident airplane, the pilot did not have any other flight time in the same model as the accident airplane. No anomalies were found that could be associated with a pre-impact condition.

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

The pilot not maintaining aircraft control during the initial climb after takeoff and the inadvertent stall/spin. A factor to the accident was the pilot's total lack of experience in accident airplane.

Full narrative available

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