NTSB Identification: CEN11FA663
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 23, 2011 in Plainwell, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2012
Aircraft: THORP T-18, registration: N54WB
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.

The accident airplane was the second airplane in a flight of two airplanes on approach to the destination. The pilot in the first airplane stated that there were no radio transmissions by the accident pilot of any mechanical malfunctions and that the accident pilot asked him to keep up his speed on final. The visibility on approach was about 3 miles. A witness observed that the second airplane was close to the first airplane and that both airplanes were “quite” low on approach. He indicated that the accident airplane impacted a semitrailer and “flipped” into the ditch embankment west of the runway. A ground fire ensued when the airplane impacted terrain. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no preimpact anomalies.

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

The pilot did not maintain clearance from a semitrailer along the approach path.

Full narrative available

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