NTSB Identification: FTW04LA236.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 10, 2004 in Orange, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Lancair 360, registration: N163DS
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.

A 642-hour pilot departed from an airfield and announced that he would be circling around the traffic pattern to make a low pass. A witness stated that he observed the airplane as it approached the runway with the landing gear extended. The witness described the airplane's speed as "moderate" as it passed over the runway at a height of 50 feet above the ground. As the airplane reached the end of the runway it began to climb at a pitch attitude of approximately 10-15 degrees. As the witness began to enter a building, he looked back toward the departure end of the runway and saw the airplane in a rapid descent. It was approximately 600 feet above the ground, the nose of the airplane was pitched down about 30 degrees, and it was in a 10-15 degree right bank. When the airplane was approximately 100-150 feet above the ground, the witness stated the airplane pitched up (about five degrees) and the wings leveled out, but it still continued to descend. The witness did not hear any engine noise during this time. The nose of the airplane continued to pitch up and it banked slightly to the left as it descended behind a tree line. He then heard the engine "roar to what sounded like full power," followed by the sound of an impact. The pilot's total flight time in the make and model could not be determined; however, it was determined that the pilot had recently purchased the airplane as the registration was still pending.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during takeoff resulting in an inadvertent stall and loss of aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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