NTSB Identification: ERA09FA141
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 25, 2009 in Sebring, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2011
Aircraft: Remos Aircraft GmbH Remos GX, registration: N9GX
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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.

During a two airplane aerial photography flight at an airshow, after takeoff the lead airplane was observed to roll to the right, with both the left and right ailerons drooping trailing edge down. The airplane descended while turning, and reached a bank angle of about 80 degrees and impacted right wing tip first on a parking apron. The airplane skidded around to the right, slid across the apron and came to rest next to a taxiway. The pilot was seriously injured, the photographer in the right seat was fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged during the impact sequence. The airplane was manufactured with folding wings. Examination revealed that the roll control system had not been properly connected prior to takeoff. On the day before the accident, the pilot and the national service manager for the airplane manufacturer had been demonstrating the wing folding mechanism for prospective customers. On the morning of the accident flight, the national service manager and the pilot of the accident airplane pulled both of the airplanes that were to be used for the aerial photography flight out from under the display tent. Both airplanes had their left wings in the folded position. When they pulled the accident airplane out from under the display tent, the national service manager was at the left wing root. He inserted the left wing's main wing securing bolt, installed the securing pin, and then went over to the other airplane to preflight it. He did not however, connect the pushrod connection for the left aileron before going over to the other airplane, nor did he advise the pilot that the "coupling was not connected". The pilot, who was at the left wingtip when he and the national service manager were unfolding the left wing, thought that he saw the national service manager go inside the airplane, and assumed he was connecting the aileron. Review of the Pilot Operating Handbook revealed that after connecting the wings to the fuselage, "the pushrod connection of the ailerons MUST be established," a check for "free and full travel of all control surfaces" was required, and that a placard was located in the plane in view of the pilot which advised that as part of the "START-CHECKLIST", the flight controls were required to be "Checked".

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight assembly and inspection which resulted in the pushrod connection to the left aileron not being connected, which led to a subsequent inflight loss of control and impact with terrain.

Full narrative available

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