NTSB Identification: WPR09LA419
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 27, 2009 in Orland, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: James B. Taplin RV-6, registration: N43521
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 flight instructor was conducting a biennial flight review with the commercial pilot. A witness reported that she observed the airplane heading in a southeast direction at an altitude of about 350 feet. The witness stated, "The plane began to execute a right hand turn, and then rolled over so the top of the plane was facing east and the nose was pointing down. I then saw the nose barely try to pull up, and I waited for it to come up, but it never did." A second witness, who was a first responder and was walking in close proximity to the accident site reported hearing the ground impact behind him, but was unaware that it was an airplane that had crashed, as he did not hear any engine noise prior to the impact. The witness reported smelling fuel and observing a pool of fuel forming under the wings after reaching the wreckage. Another first responder reported that he smelled a "strong odor" of aviation fuel as he approached the wreckage. GPS data revealed that the airplane had performed a 4-turn spiral over the airport prior to the descent to ground impact. Examination of the wreckage disclosed impact signatures and ground scars consistent with a stall/spin. A post accident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug2009 | Index of months