NTSB Identification: DEN06LA116.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 23, 2006 in Laramie, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Baker RV-3AB, registration: N43EM
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.

According to several witnesses at the airport, the airplane was performing a low speed pass down the runway. Both witnesses stated that at the departure end of the runway, the airplane pitched up aggressively and rolled to the right. One witness stated that it appeared as if the left wing folded up and impacted the canopy. Another witness stated that airplane tumbled through the air and at that time, the wings did not appear straight. The airplane continued to roll, nosed over, impacted the ground in an upright attitude, and slid. The main wreckage consisted of the empennage fuselage and the left wing. The right wing separated from the airframe and was directly adjacent to the main wreckage. Examination revealed the right wing failed in a positive (upward) direction. No evidence of compliance with Vans Service Bulletin (SB) 96-3-1 was observed on the accident airplane. This SB states that "Pilots should perform no aerobatic maneuvers and limit flight G loads to a maximum 4.4 G's (Utility Category). This limitation should be reflected in the Operating Limitations for the aircraft as well as the airframe logbook until such a time that appropriate modifications have been completed. Unmodified aircraft must display an "Aerobatic Limitations" placard referencing the Operating Limitations of the aircraft." No evidence of compliance with FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) ACE-99-10 was observed on the accident airplane. In this SAIB, the FAA outlined the recommendations issued by Van's with regards to wing spar modification and performance of aerobatics. The SAIB went on to address recommended operating limitations for aircraft with and without the modifications such as airspeeds, gross weight, and G limits. An examination of the remaining airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

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

The in-flight failure of the right wing spar during aerobatic flight. Contributing to the accident was the owner/operator's failure to comply with the service bulletin issued by the kit manufacturer.

Full narrative available

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