NTSB Identification: IAD05LA083.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 23, 2005 in Bath, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Titan Tornado, registration: None
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 pilot owner completed a preflight inspection of his unregistered, homebuilt airplane, and departed from the airstrip. The rotation and takeoff were at their customary points on the strip, and the airplane climbed on a "normal gradient." About 400 feet above ground level, the engine "burbled," and then the airplane "rocked a little" in the pitch and roll axis. The engine continued the burbling sound as it ran, and the airplane continued flying for 10 to 12 seconds before it "fell off on the left wing," descending almost vertically to the ground. Examination of the two-cylinder engine revealed that the forward spark plug of the rear cylinder was still attached to its ignition lead, but the plug was not installed, and hung next to the cylinder. The spark plug remained completely intact. Examination of the corresponding cast aluminum spark plug hole revealed stripped threads. The plug was reinserted into the hole, moved "side to side," and then withdrawn from the hole by hand. The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent application for a medical certificate was denied 16 years before the accident for "Administrative or Legal" reasons. The pilot reported 110 hours of total flight experience on that date.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot/owner's failure to maintain adequate airspeed following a loss of engine power, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Factors in the accident were the stripped spark plug threads, and an inadequate preflight inspection by the pilot/owner. Full narrative available
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