NTSB Identification: DFW08FA031
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 15, 2007 in Ranger, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N55307
Injuries: 3 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.

While on an instructional cross-country flight in visual meteorological conditions, the airplane experienced an in-flight breakup during an aerobatic maneuver. Five maneuvers of interest were identified in the radar data for the accident flight. During the last maneuver the airplane's airspeed exceeded 134 knots calibrated airspeed (KCAS). According to the airplane's type certificate data sheet, the airplane's maximum maneuvering speed was 116 KCAS. Fellow flight instructors revealed that the accident flight instructor had reported performing "rolls" and/or "snap rolls" in the past while in the flight school's airplanes. In addition, one primary flight student reported that the accident flight instructor had demonstrated "rolls" and "spins" to him during flight lessons. No preimpact mechanical deficiencies with the airplane were noted, and all fracture surfaces were consistent with overload separations.

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

The pilot's intentional performance of aerobatic maneuvers that exceeded the design limits of the airplane structure.

Full narrative available

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