NTSB Identification: ERA11LA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 17, 2010 in Southern Pines, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2011
Aircraft: BOBO CHRISTOPHER J LOEHLE 5151, registration: N838B
Injuries: 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 accident pilot was flying in formation with another pilot, en route to a private airstrip. About 10 minutes after departure, the accident pilot reported on the common traffic advisory frequency that his wings were fluttering and that he was losing control of the airplane. The other pilot told him to reduce the power and try to land on the road below. He then observed the accident airplane in a slow, banking turn, appearing to line up for a landing on the road. The accident pilot announced that he was unable to maintain control of the airplane, and witnesses observed the ailerons fluttering before the airplane appeared to stall and descend vertically to the ground. The airplane, constructed of wood and fabric, shattered into multiple wood fragments upon impact; however, examination of the fracture surfaces and structure of the wings revealed damage consistent with both wings and ailerons being attached to the airframe at the time of impact. Additionally, flight control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit to the aileron flight controls. The most recent recorded maintenance performed on the airplane was its Phase 1 condition inspection completed about 3 weeks prior to the accident. During this inspection, the flight controls were inspected and lubricated. Due to the severe impact damage, the source of the wing flutter and control problem reported by the pilot was not identified.

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

The reported fluttering of the wings in flight and the pilot's subsequent in-flight loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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