NTSB Identification: ANC06LA029.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, March 25, 2006 in McKittrick, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Cooper Harmon Rocket ll, registration: N96CR
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 private pilot of the amateur built experimental airplane was conducting a solo, local flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91. He departed a private strip on the family's ranch, and proceeded to perform low level aerobatic flight maneuvers within view of his family's homes, and a camping area located on the ranch frequented by family and friends. Numerous family and friends watched as he passed overhead, inverted, and waving. Witnesses said he appeared to be departing the area doing rolls, when the airplane suddenly pitched down and impacted the ground. The airplane was destroyed by impact and postcrash fire. The wreckage was examined onsite by an FAA inspector, who said flight control continuity could not be established due to the extensive damage. The pilot built the airplane, and had an experimental airplane maintenance certificate for the airplane. No maintenance or pilot records were discovered for examination. Ranch personnel buried the airplane wreckage on the property, and the airplane wreckage was not examined by the NTSB. An autopsy of the pilot disclosed that the pilot died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries. The pilot did not have an FAA waiver to perform low altitude aerobatics.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain altitude/clearance while performing intentional low altitude aerobatic flight maneuvers. Factors associated with the accident are the low altitude aerobatic flight maneuvers.

Full narrative available

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