NTSB Identification: ATL06LA110.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 24, 2006 in Hartselle, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Arter RV6, registration: N112WA
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 witness stated that he was driving on U.S. Highway 31 at 0650 and noticed a low flying airplane buzzing the City of Hartselle and lining up to land at a local airport. The witness continued to the airport to talk the pilot; however upon arrival at the airport the airplane was not there. Another witness stated that he was outside his home before 0700 and observed the airplane flying south southeast in the vicinity of the airport. He observed the airplane make a steep bank estimated at about 45-degrees and level out. The witness stated that he thought the airplane was going to land at the airport so he went inside his house. A short time later his mother departed his home with his daughter and the witness heard a car horn blowing. The witness went outside to investigate and was informed by his mother that there was an airplane inverted in a field adjacent to his home. The witness went to the airplane and observed one occupant who appeared to be fatally injured. Several pilots from the deceased pilot's home base stated that the deceased pilot often made high speed passes, and performed aerobatic maneuvers over and around the airport area, and runway. Examination of the airplane revealed the airplane collided with the ground in a descending nose down attitude. The left wing was pushed aft and the leading edge of the left wing exhibited accordion crushing. Examination of the engine assembly and accessories, airframe, and flight controls revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Review of performance data for the RV6 airplane revealed the airplane will stall at 49 mph. Post-mortem toxicology testing revealed ethanol in the pilot's blood (.061 percent), urine, and vitreous fluid.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering resulting in an inadvertent stall and collision with trees and the ground. Factor in the accident were the pilot's ostentatious display and impairment due to alcohol.

Full narrative available

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