NTSB Identification: CEN11LA012
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 08, 2010 in Easton, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/13/2011
Aircraft: NEWMANN EDWARD W CHALLENGER II, registration: N61328
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 and student-rated passenger departed the pilot’s property and remained airborne for about 10 minutes. The pilot expressed a concern about the wind and decided that they needed to return to the airfield. During the turn back to the airfield, the passenger felt like they were losing altitude and may have encountered a downdraft. The pilot told him to “hang on” and activated the airplane’s ballistic parachute. The passenger further stated that he was sure the engine was running, but he could not recall the impact sequence and he estimated the airplane was about 350 feet above ground level, when they started the turn.

Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of preimpact anomalies and fuel was present at the accident site. The right section of the stabilizer was located about 75 feet from the main wreckage. The stabilizer section did not have any impact marks on its tube framing and the fabric appeared in good condition. The two bolts that normally hold the section on were broken. Both bolts were sent to the Safety Board Material's Laboratory for examination. The Materials Laboratory noted that both bolts had signatures consistent with a bending overload event. The separation of the stabilizer section from the airframe prior to the loss of control could not be substantiated.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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