NTSB Identification: CEN10LA198
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 23, 2010 in Greeley, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/12/2010
Aircraft: American Champion 7KCAB, registration: N5065X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot was practicing steep turns around a point at 7,500 feet mean sea level. During one of the turns, he heard an unusual sound and saw something falling away from the aircraft. He then noticed a piece of fabric “flapping” in the slipstream at the trailing edge of the right aileron. The airplane developed a slight sink rate, but the engine and flight controls operated normally. He returned to the airport and made an uneventful landing. Postflight inspection disclosed that nearly 80 percent of the fabric on the top of the right wing had separated, and several ribs were damaged when the rivets separated with the fabric. Several other ribs were distorted from slipstream. The airplane had been used for spotting fish in Alaska. According to the maintenance records, the airframe was last recovered on July 21, 2003, at a total time of 3,894.0 hours. Fabric punch tests since the recovering had been satisfactory.

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

An in-flight failure of the wing fabric for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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