NTSB Identification: LAX04LA125.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 17, 2004 in Apache Junction, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Knapple/Wray Lancair IV-P, registration: N330KT
Injuries: 2 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 airplane was observed by three witnesses in a flat counterclockwise spin from about 2,000 feet as it descended to ground impact. No one observed the airplane prior to the spin. All of the witnesses, one of whom is a commercial pilot, heard the sound of the turbine engine running throughout the spin, which consisted of 3 or 4 complete rotations. The purpose of the flight was to meet the specifications as outlined in the Phase 1 flight testing portion of the experimental operating limitations, as issued by the FAA. This was the third recorded flight. Due to the post-impact fire, control continuity was not confirmed during the subsequent wreckage examination. No evidence of preexisting mechanical malfunctions was noted with either the engine or propeller assembly. The engine and propeller control linkages were in the normal operating range near flight idle. During engine disassembly and teardown, a composite material, similar to a heat shield material commonly used to insulate the composite cowling, was located in the compressor and burner sections of the engine. The engine is a reverse flow free power turbine, with the power turbine shaft connected to the propeller. The engine is mounted in the airframe with the compressor inlet at the rear of the engine compartment.

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

the pilot/builder's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering that resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin.

Full narrative available

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