NTSB Identification: LAX06LA096.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 28, 2006 in Santa Ynez, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Reichel Lancair 360, registration: N79Y
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 airplane impacted a soft dirt open field near the airport while in an uncontrolled descent. It was destroyed by impact forces and post impact ground fire. A ground-based witness, who also was a pilot, reported that he heard the airplane during its approach to the airport. The witness stated that the airplane's engine was revved up and the engine sounded "firewalled." No evidence of any catastrophic preimpact engine failure was observed during the Federal Aviation Administration's on-scene examination of the wreckage. The FAA inspector reported that, based upon the distribution of wreckage and the ground scar signatures, it appeared that the airplane impacted with a significant right wing down attitude and cartwheeled as it came to rest. A post impact fire destroyed the airplane and no findings could be made regarding the preimpact integrity of the control system. The pilot was the experimental airplane's owner-builder. Approximately 3 months before the crash, the pilot had experienced a mishap when oil pressure was lost. The propeller went into an uncommanded flat pitch, and the pilot experienced a runaway propeller when the engine revved up. The pilot returned to the Santa Ynez Airport, landed hard, and the propeller struck the ground damaging its tips. Thereafter, the pilot shortened the propeller by 1.5 to 2.0 inches. The pilot also made additional repairs to his airplane. The accident occurred during the pilot's next flight. The cause of the apparent runaway propeller was not determined.

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

Loss of airplane control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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