NTSB Identification: FTW04LA226.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 01, 2004 in Pearland, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Cassutt IIIM, registration: N3TW
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 246.6-hour pilot was conducting a series of touch-and-go landings in an amateur-built race airplane. While the airplane was turning from base leg to final within the airport traffic pattern, a witness observed the airplane "descending rapidly in a nose down" attitude through approximately 500 feet agl. The witness stated that the airplane "fell straight down in a spin" until it impacted terrain. Another witness located at the airport reported seeing the airplane turn left base at a bank angle of approximately 90 degrees. Examination of the engine and airframe were conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration and no anomalies were noted. Review of the pilot's logbooks revealed he had accumulated approximately 2 hours in the accident make/model airplane. The former owner of the accident airplane reported that the pilot had recently purchased the airplane approximately six months prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed sufficient for flight resulting in an inadvertent stall/spin while turning from the base leg of the traffic pattern to final. A contributing factor was the pilot's lack of experience for the make/model airplane.

Full narrative available

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