NTSB Identification: CHI08FA196
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 21, 2008 in Newark, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/12/2010
Aircraft: Czech Aircraft Works Sport Cruiser, registration: N602CF
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.

The sport pilot departed in a Special – Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) from a grass airstrip and impacted the terrain. The accident site was located within the traffic pattern about where the turn from a left downwind to a left base leg would be made. There were no witnesses to the accident and there was no recorded radar track data of the accident flight. The damage to the airplane indicated that it impacted the terrain in about a 30-degree nose-down attitude in a left bank. The inspection of the airframe revealed no preexisting anomalies. The engine was put on an engine test stand and it operated through the full range of rpm settings. The stall speed at the maximum gross weight with wings level and the engine at idle is 39 mph.

The inspection of the pilot’s shoulder harness revealed that the single strap of the shoulder harness that attached the harness to the rear cabin bulkhead was separated from the shoulder harness yoke where it was stitched to the shoulder straps. The stitching had failed at the attach point. The accident airplane was classified as a LSA and as such, was not certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. LSA’s are described as “self certifying,” indicating that they are certified as airworthy by the manufacturer.

After a review of the pilot’s autopsy findings, it was determined that some of the pilot’s injuries would have been less severe if the shoulder harness had not failed. However, due to the severity of the crash, the resulting injuries were likely to still be fatal.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane in the landing pattern. Contributing to the severity of injuries was the failure of the pilot's shoulder harness.

Full narrative available

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