NTSB Identification: CEN12FA073
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 2011 in Plato Center, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/2014
Aircraft: SKYKITS SAVANNAH VGW, registration: N61XT
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.

A witness reported that the student pilot taxied the airplane to the west end of the runway, and then he taxied the length of the runway to the east. He then taxied the airplane back to the west end of the runway before departing. The airplane became airborne and climbed to about the height of a nearby barn (about 50 feet above ground level) when the airplane’s wings began to “wobble.” Then the airplane turned left and nosed straight down. The student pilot intended to obtain a sport pilot’s certificate with a single-engine land rating but had not started his flight instruction at the time of the accident. He was an accomplished noncertificated ultra-light gyroplane pilot, but he did not possess a Federal Aviation Administration gyroplane pilot’s certificate. The pilot had purchased the airplane but had not received any flight instruction in the airplane, and he did not have a solo endorsement to fly the airplane. Except for a 0.4-hour demonstration flight in the airplane, the accident flight was the first time the accident pilot flew the airplane. The postaccident examinations of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. Postaccident toxicology testing indicated that the pilot had used chlorpheniramine, but it could not be determined if impairment from the medication contributed to the accident.

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

The noncertificated pilot’s decision to fly the airplane without receiving any flight instruction in the airplane, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during takeoff and the subsequent aerodynamic stall.  

Full narrative available

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