NTSB Identification: WPR09LA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 04, 2009 in Tehachapi, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: AERO VODOCHODY L-29, registration: N97869
Injuries: 2 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.

The accident airplane was participating in formation flight consisting of three airplanes. The lead pilot of the formation reported that after overflying the city in a trailing formation, the flight conducted a series of turns and the number two and three (accident airplane) were to join up on his left and right wing. As the flight conducted a right turn, the number two airplane joined up on the lead pilot’s left wing and the number three airplane was observed passing the lead pilot to his right. As the turn continued, the lead pilot observed the accident airplane pitch upwards and roll to the left over the formation. Witnesses located near the accident reported observing a three-jet formation overfly the area at an altitude of about 500 feet above ground level (agl). The accident airplane was observed trailing the other two airplanes. The witnesses reported that the three airplanes initiated a right turn to a northerly heading and the accident airplane made a sharp right climbing turn to join up with the other two airplanes. Subsequently, the accident airplane pitched upwards and rolled to the left over the other two airplanes, transitioning from the right side to the left side. Witnesses further reported that the accident airplane completed the roll in a nose low attitude and descended into terrain where a post-crash fire ensued. Examination of the airplane revealed no pre-impact mechanical anomalies with the engine or airframe.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while performing a low altitude maneuver.

Full narrative available

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