NTSB Identification: SEA08LA178.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 14, 2008 in Richland, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Kolb Mark III, registration: N18EX
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.

Soon after taking off from the paved runway, the pilot of the experimental airplane leveled off about 200 feet above ground level. At that altitude, and long before reaching the departure end of the runway, the pilot began a 180 degree turn that would bring him onto a low-level downwind where he would soon turn base from this very abbreviated traffic pattern. During the turn, the bank angle of the airplane became very steep, and the pilot failed to maintain an airspeed above the increased stalling speed (Vs) in the steep turn. The airplane stalled and descended at a steep angle into the terrain. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any evidence of a structural or flight control malfunction, and there were no anomalies found with the engine. Witnesses at the airport familiar with the pilot and the airplane stated that the pilot flew this abbreviated low altitude traffic pattern often.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed above stall speed while executing a steeply banked turn in the traffic pattern.

Full narrative available

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