NTSB Identification: DFW07FA008.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2006 in Georgetown, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2008
Aircraft: North American T-28C, registration: N470
Injuries: 1 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.

The commercial pilot departed on a long cross-country flight in his single-engine experimental airplane that just had an overhauled engine installed. Prior to departure, he purchased 100 gallons of fuel but did not obtain a weather briefing or file a flight plan. While en route, as day turned into night, the pilot, who was receiving flight following services from air traffic control (ATC), announced to ATC that he needed to divert to another airport that was 40 miles south of his position for fuel. He also stated that he needed to descend to a lower altitude. A review of ATC and weather radar data revealed that as the airplane proceeded toward this airport, he flew through an area of light to moderate rain activity. Radar data revealed that the airplane unexpectedly initiated a left turn toward the east-northeast and disappeared from radar. According to the last 60 seconds of radar data, the airplane made several climbs and descents and the ground speed decelerated from 173 knots to 113 knots before the data ended. The airplane came to rest in a heavily wooded terrain on a heading of 331 degrees, approximately 2 miles northwest of the last radar return and approximately 16 miles southeast of another airport that offered fuel services. The airplane impacted terrain in a near vertical descent, and the entire engine assembly, including two propeller blades, were imbedded about 8-10 feet into the ground. There was no evidence of a fuel spill at the accident site. The airplane was reported to have a fuel endurance range of 2.5 hours. Examination of the airplane did not reveled any pre mishap deficiencies with the airframe or the engine.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane which led to an aerodynamic stall. A contributing factor was the dark night.

Full narrative available

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