NTSB Identification: ERA12FA008
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 05, 2011 in Moyock, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2013
Aircraft: AVIAT INC A-1, registration: N11HU
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 non-certificated pilot was maneuvering his airplane over his farm fields at a low altitude; a witness observed the wings become perpendicular to the ground and the airplane's nose, which was low when the turn began, lowered further. The airplane maintained the nose-low turn until it impacted the ground, consistent with an aerodynamic stall. A witness, who had previously seen and heard the airplane flying overhead on many occasions, stated that the engine sounded "normal," with no sputtering or backfires. Onscene examination of the airplane revealed no preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The airplane's logbooks could not be located; however, duplicate entries provided by a maintenance facility confirmed that an annual inspection was completed about 4 months earlier.

Pilot logbooks also were not located; however, other records indicated that the pilot previously held a student pilot certificate that expired in 2003. Any subsequent training could not be ascertained. The pilot acquired the airplane in 2002, and associates indicated that he flew it regularly, as often as several times a week. Autopsy results indicated that the pilot died of blunt trauma; however, the autopsy also indicated an enlarged heart, at least two and possibly three coronary bypasses, and severe coronary artery disease which could have resulted in a sudden loss of consciousness. Toxicological testing revealed the presence of a sedating antihistamine, but the quantity could not be determined. It also revealed inactive cocaine metabolites that indicated previous usage, but which likely did not contribute to the outcome. The extent to which the pilot's medical issues may have contributed to the accident (if they did at all) could not be determined.

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

The operation of the airplane by a non-certificated pilot, and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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