NTSB Identification: LAX08FA134
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 09, 2008 in Queen Creek, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2009
Aircraft: EXTRA Flugzeugproduktions-GMBH EA-300/L, registration: N133EE
Injuries: 2 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.

The operator noted that the airplane was overdue from a practice upset recovery training flight. Shortly thereafter, the wreckage was located in flat desert terrain about 10 miles east of the airport. The two occupants were located approximately 50 feet from the airplane wreckage and were wearing parachutes. The instructor pilot’s parachute was found to have been activated and partially deployed. The pilot under instruction's parachute had not been activated. Examination of onboard video and audio recordings revealed that the pilot under instruction was seated in the front cockpit and the instructor pilot was seated in the rear cockpit. The crew intended to perform a maneuver that consisted of the first half as a climbing vertical loop with a snap-roll executed at the top, then continue through the back half of the loop. The pilot under instruction, in the front seat, had the controls for this maneuver. At the top of the loop, as the airplane entered into the snap-roll portion of the maneuver, the airplane’s nose dropped and it entered an erect spin. The pilot in the front cockpit stated that something broke. The instructor in the rear cockpit verbalized the recover procedures, then concurred that there was something wrong with the rudder; he released the canopy and gave the command to get out. The pilot in the front cockpit released his harness and moved to sit on the left-hand canopy rail over a period of 14 seconds. It was not until the front pilot was completely out of his seat before the video showed the rear pilot moving to position himself on the left canopy rail, which took 9 seconds. They both fell backwards out of the cockpit nearly simultaneously 23 seconds after the canopy had been released. The estimated altitude that the airplane was at when the crew bailed out was 246 feet above ground level. Multiple examinations of the rudder system did not reveal any evidence of a rudder malfunction or jam.

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

The loss of aircraft control due to an undetermined rudder malfunction.

Full narrative available

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