NTSB Identification: ERA10LA120
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 15, 2010 in Picayune, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2011
Aircraft: STEELE SAMUEL D RV-4, registration: N107SS
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.

According to a witness, the pilot was preparing the accident airplane for a test flight after replacing a ground wire in the avionics. The pilot and passenger boarded the airplane, the engine started, and they made a normal departure to the north. Another witness observed the airplane shortly after it departed. He noticed that the airplane was low and that it appeared that it was about to perform trick-type maneuvers. The airplane rolled to the left and pitched down, impacting the ground shortly thereafter. A postaccident examination of the wreckage and accident site revealed that impact damage signatures on the nose, wings, and fuselage were consistent with a stall and spin, fragmentation of the propeller consistent with engine operation at impact. Weight and balance calculations were performed using weight and balance documents recovered at the site and the actual weights of the occupants. Calculations revealed the airplane was loaded about 250 pounds in excess of the experimental amateur-built kit manufacturer's recommended maximum gross weight, and that that the center of gravity was located more than .25 inches aft of the envelope for the maximum gross weight.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the overweight and aft-center-of-gravity condition of the airplane at takeoff.

Full narrative available

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