NTSB Identification: NYC08LA087.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 27, 2008 in McCullough, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Unknown Free Bird Sportlite, registration: N75474
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.

The pilot owned the accident airplane, but had not yet obtained a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sport pilot certificate. Further, the airplane had not been inspected and certified as an experimental light sport aircraft. A witness observed the accident airplane depart a private turf airstrip and fly around the local area. About 30 minutes later, the airplane impacted a field nose down near the departure airstrip. Most of the airplane was consumed by a postcrash fire; however, flight control continuity was confirmed. The airplane was equipped with a heavy engine, respectively, which may have created an aft center of gravity (CG) condition. Such circumstances would require modification to move the CG forward, prior to completing certification. The pilot had accumulated about 25 hours of flight instruction, and had soloed, but had not completed a long cross-country flight. Several months before the fatal accident, the pilot was involved in a prior accident in the same airplane. The prior accident occurred during a high-speed taxi, in which the airplane accidentally became airborne. The pilot was subsequently advised by a designated airworthiness representative, and a flight instructor, not to fly the airplane until it was certificated, and the pilot received a sport pilot certificate.

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

The non-certificated pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the non-certificated pilot's improper decision to conduct a flight prior to the airplane being properly inspected and certified.

Full narrative available

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