NTSB Identification: ERA11FA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 26, 2011 in Palm Coast, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2013
Aircraft: AEROSTAR S A YAK-52, registration: N808TD
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the third and final aerobatic flight that day, after completing a loop maneuver called the “heart” maneuver, the pilot failed to recover from the nose-low descent before ground impact. A video recording of the last segment of the flight revealed no parts separated from the airplane.

The airplane was substantially damaged by impact forces and a postcrash fire that nearly consumed the fuselage and portions of both wings; however, there was no evidence of a preimpact failure or malfunction of the flight controls for roll, pitch, or yaw. The right flap was noted to be extended, which agreed with the as-found position of the single flap actuator. Although no brain tissue, blood, or cardiac tissue were available for examination at autopsy, analysis of the limited evidence available found nothing to support a medical cause for impairment or incapacitation.

Video evidence suggests that the airplane’s flightpath angle became shallower during the last 1.3 seconds of the recording, which was very near the time of impact, when compared with the earlier portion of the descent. Cursory examination of the engine and damage to the propeller blades suggest the engine was developing power at the moment of impact.

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

The pilot’s failure to recover from the nose-low descent during an aerobatic maneuver.

Full narrative available

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