NTSB Identification: CEN12CA360
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 09, 2012 in Kokomo, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2012
Aircraft: BIRCHLER BOYD EAGLE 540, registration: N34BJ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot planned to depart the runway and then turn left toward a row of trees for an aerobatic demonstration at a local air show. At a set distance from the trees, his plan was to roll the airplane inverted and then climb away from the trees. However, during the performance, he realized that the airplane wasn’t going to clear the trees. The pilot stated that he tried to increase the airplane’s climb angle, but the airplane struck the trees. The pilot continued the airplane’s climb and returned to the airfield for a landing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its wings and horizontal stabilizer during the collision with the trees. The pilot reported that the primary cause of the accident was “misjudgment in distance” and “pilot error.” He also indicated that the wind was occasionally gusty, but he was unable to ascertain whether that was a factor.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance from the trees during a low-level aerobatic maneuver.

Full narrative available

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