NTSB Identification: DEN04CA068.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 05, 2004 in Falcon, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415G, registration: N94405
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot said the airplane was at maximum gross weight. Shortly after departure, he encountered clear air turbulence. At full power of 2,250 rpm and an indicated airspeed of 75 mph, the airplane would not climb. He decided to turn around and return to the airport. After turning onto the downwind leg, the airplane encountered a "rotor wave" and the left wing dropped. The pilot applied full right aileron with no effect. The airplane entered a spiral and impacted terrain. The left wing tip scraped the ground, spinning the airplane around. It became airborne again, then the right main landing gear struck a ditch. This collapsed the nose and right main landing gears. In addition, the right wing was sheared and the empennage was buckled.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control. A contributing factor was the clear air turbulence encounter.

Full narrative available

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