NTSB Identification: MIA08FA003
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 05, 2007 in Newton, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2008
Aircraft: Bellanca 7GCBC, registration: N62970
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.

On the day of the accident, the newly certificated private pilot went on a short cross-country flight to build additional time for a commercial pilot certificate. While in cruise flight, the airplane's right outboard wing, at the wing strut attachment point, separated at the front and rear wing spars as a result of preexisting compressive damage. The airplane subsequently descended out of control and impacted the ground in a near-vertical nose-down attitude. Review of the airplaneā€™s maintenance logbook records showed that an annual inspection was completed about 10 days, and 4.2 flight hours prior to the accident. The inspection write-up found in the logbook stated in part that on the day of the annual inspection, the airframe and powerplant mechanic with an inspection authorization (IA) complied with airworthiness directive (AD) 2000-25-02 R1, by inspecting the wood wing spars in accordance with (I/A/W) American Champion Aircraft Corporation (ACAC) Service Letter 406, and stated that no cracks were detected. Further inspection of the right wing found several inspection holes, one of which was located at the wing strut attachment point on the underside of the wing, and several inspection holes on the upper surface of the wing. However, the location and number of inspection holes were inadequate to allow total compliance with AD 2000-25-02, or ACAC Service Letter 406 and ACAC Service Letter 417. Given the size of the area of preexisting damage, had the IA inspected the wing spars at the wing strut attach point, where there was an inspection hole, in an attempt to comply with AD 2000-25-02, ACAC Service Letter 406, and ACAC Service Letter 417, he would have seen the preexisting damage.

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

The failure of the right wing wooden spar due while the airplane was in cruise flight, due to the mechanic's inadequate annual inspection and his failure to comply with an airworthiness directive.

Full narrative available

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