NTSB Identification: LAX04LA213.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 15, 2004 in Supai, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Bachman Lancair IV-P, registration: N299SD
Injuries: 4 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 experimental amateur-built pressurized airplane departed cruise flight and entered a steep spiraling descent before impacting the south rim of the Grand Canyon. The wreckage was largely consumed in a post impact ground fire. The pilot was taking his family and friends on a scenic flight over the Grand Canyon. Review of the radar data and air traffic control communications revealed that the airplane flew east over the canyon at 15,500 feet before reversing direction and flying westbound around 16,500 feet. The last four radar returns depict the airplane descending through 16,200, 13,800, 11,300, and 9,100 feet respectively with 12-second separation between returns. Air traffic controllers received no distress calls from the pilot. Post-accident examination of the wreckage could not verify the existence of all flight control surfaces or their continuity due to impact and fire damage, nor could it rule out an airframe failure or any control anomalies. Review of the airplane records and correspondence between the pilot/owner revealed a history of maintenance issues.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the loss of aircraft control while in cruise flight for undetermined reasons. Full narrative available
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