NTSB Identification: CHI02LA176.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 26, 2002 in Owatonna, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2003
Aircraft: Bar/Curtiss JN-4D, registration: N38057
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 airplane impacted power lines and the terrain following a loss of control shortly after takeoff. A witness reported seeing the airplane in an 80-degree left bank turn. It looked like the airplane was not climbing, but rather was in a level turn just above the treetops. The airplane then entered a steep nose-down attitude, rotated to the left, and went straight down. The airplane was a replica of a 1917 bi-wing Curtiss Jenny, which was powered by a 90 horsepower, liquid cooled, Curtiss OX-5 engine. The airplane had been completed approximately 6 months prior to the accident. Estimates about the number of times the pilot had flown the airplane varied between two and five times. Inspection of the wreckage failed to reveal any pre-existing failure/malfunction which would have resulted in the loss of control. The passenger on the airplane, who was also one of the builders, stated that in his opinion, the airplane was too underpowered to recover from a stall at a low altitude.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the takeoff climb resulting in an inadvertent stall. A factor associated with the accident was the low altitude at which the stall occurred.

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