NTSB Identification: DEN06FA107.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 30, 2006 in Winter Park, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: American Champion 7KCAB, registration: N5232X
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to family members, the pilot had flown to the vicinity of the continental divide and camped out in preparation for a flight over the divide the next day. On the accident flight, witnesses related that they saw the airplane fly over the divide, into mountainous terrain, circle around the divide, and fly towards a local lake. One witness said the airplane was so low he thought it was going to land on the lake. Another witness saw the airplane enter a bank at low altitude, at which time "the nose turned down and the airplane went straight down like it was hit with a fly swatter." An additional witness reported that the nose went down with the nose facing opposite the original direction of flight. Discussions with other pilots and her former aerobatic instructor, disclosed that the pilot liked to perform aerobatics, and fly at a low altitude over steep terrain. Postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed impact signatures consistent with a loss of control and a stall/spin. No evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly was discovered.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed to avoid a stall while maneuvering at a low altitude in mountainous terrain. Factors associated with the accident are the pilot's performance of a low altitude flight maneuver, an inadvertent stall/spin, and the pilot's improper in-flight planning/decision.

Full narrative available

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