NTSB Identification: ERA09FA087
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 13, 2008 in Sebring, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415-D, registration: N99154
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.

Witnesses observed the accident airplane as it performed a low-level, local flight in the vicinity of the passenger's home. The witnesses reported that the airplane entered a high-speed dive before pulling up and rolling steeply left. One of the witnesses reported that both ailerons were "fluttering" just before both wings separated from the fuselage and the airplane broke up. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the wing spar failed in overload at its center, in an aft and downward direction. Though a hole not specified in the design of the airplane was present at the point where the separation of the spar began, its effect on the preaccident structural strength of the spar could not be determined. No corrosion or evidence of a fatigue failure was observed in the vicinity of the initial separation.

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

The pilot's exceedance of the design stress limitations of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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