NTSB Identification: SEA02LA012.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 08, 2001 in Eatonville, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2003
Aircraft: Thurston Pitts S-1S, registration: N3VT
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The experienced acrobatic pilot was practicing acrobatic maneuvers when the Pitts S-1S biplane transitioned from a near vertical, inverted stall into an inverted flat spin. The aircraft continued in the spin through 15-20 revolutions descending vertically until ground impact. There was evidence that the aircraft's canopy had been jettisoned during the descent as it was located relatively undamaged 150 feet from the ground impact site. The pilot's restraint system (lap belt and shoulder harness) however, had not been released. No control malfunction was noted during the post-crash investigation. Pilot records documented only one known reference to the pilot's having encountered an inverted spin, and this maneuver was referenced as an inadvertent inverted spin. An experienced S-1S pilot who had conducted inverted spins reported that the recovery process was characteristically simple and only required a release of the controls provided there was not a significantly aft center of gravity.

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

The pilot's unsuccessful corrective action (recovery) from an inverted spin. A contributing factor was the pilot's encounter with the inverted spin maneuver.

Full narrative available

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