NTSB Identification: CEN12LA112
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 22, 2011 in Marysville, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/11/2012
Aircraft: AMERICAN CHAMPION AIRCRAFT 8KCAB, registration: N161PC
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot was performing low-level aerobatics for a ground-based observer for the purpose of renewing his low-level aerobatic competency waiver. As the airplane was pulling out from a dive while performing a maneuver described by the observer as a “modified clover-leaf/split-‘S’,” the airplane struck the ground in a wings-level attitude. The observer noted that nothing sounded out of the ordinary with respect to engine operation during the flight. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed no anomalies that could be attributed to a preexisting failure or malfunction. Based on the witness description and the postaccident examination, it is likely that the pilot misjudged the aerobatic maneuver and had insufficient altitude to recover from the ensuing dive.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient altitude from the terrain while performing low-level aerobatics.

Full narrative available

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