NTSB Identification: LAX08LA024.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 25, 2007 in Tracy, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2008
Aircraft: North Wing Mustang II 17.5, registration: NONE
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.

No witnesses observed the pilot depart on the flight or the accident sequence. The pilot owned and operated the unregistered airplane. Based upon an examination of the accident site and wreckage, the airplane experienced an in-flight non-mechanical structural failure, which resulted in a loss of wing rigidity. The airplane impacted the ground in an uncontrolled descent. All major structural airframe and engine components were accounted for at the site. The leading edges of the wings were mostly undamaged, indicating they folded prior to impact. A propeller chunk was found imbedded in a strut, indicating crankshaft rotation under torque during the accident sequence as the wings folded. Hardware associated with the pullback shackle (assembly), which provides structural support to the wings for rigidity, was missing. The wings were found folded inward from their normal in-flight rigid position. Specifically, a bolt, horseshoe shackle, and the nylon strap were missing. Because these components were not located, no determination could be made regarding whether the bolt had failed, the nut had become loose, or the parts had been inadequately modified following their manufacture. The airplane did not meet the requirements of FAR Part 103, and night flying was not permissible under FAA regulation. Toxicology revealed evidence of tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (marihuana) in blood samples.

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

Failure or disconnection of a wing support/brace assembly for undetermined reasons during an undetermined phase of flight.

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