NTSB Identification: NYC07LA124
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 23, 2007 in Charleston, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: Boeing Stearman A75N1, registration: N55718
Injuries: 2 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 pilot and passenger were conducting a local sightseeing flight in a vintage open-cockpit biplane, with the passenger seated in the front seat and the pilot seated in the rear seat. The airplane was observed maneuvering and descending to a height of about 20 feet above the surface of the water. The airplane then made a climbing right turn toward the southeast, before entering another right bank and descending into the water. Weather conditions reported near the accident site about the time of the accident included winds from 080 degrees at 17 knots, gusting to 22 knots. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any preexisting mechanical failures; however, the wreckage was severely fragmented. The control surface lock handle, located in the forward cockpit, was observed in the down (controls locked) position; however, its preaccident position could not be determined. Damage to the surrounding structure, in the vicinity of the control lock handle, suggested that it was displaced downward during the impact sequence. The aft and forward cockpit control surface lock handles remained attached to their common torque tube. The locking mechanism was located in the forward cockpit. If the control lock was engaged during normal phases of flight, the rudder would lock in the faired position, and the ailerons and elevator could still be controlled; however, aileron control would become limited as the stick moved close to its full-forward position. The pilot had logged 870 hours of total civilian flight experience and 60 total hours (5 hours during the 30 days preceding the accident) in the accident airplane. The pilot had a kidney stone found in his left kidney on autopsy and the passenger had a history of diabetes which required insulin use and had recently ingested two unidentified capsules. It was not determined if the pilot's or passenger's medical conditions contributed to the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: An in-flight collision with water for undetermined reasons. Full narrative available
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