NTSB Identification: CEN12LA615
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, September 07, 2012 in Valley City, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: GOODYEAR F2G, registration: N5577N
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.

Witnesses reported that the pilot completed the initial portion of his airshow practice routine without any apparent difficulties. One witness noted that during those maneuvers, the airplane reached altitudes of about 2,000 feet above ground level (agl). The pilot then executed a four-point roll. The witnesses stated that the airplane pitched up and rolled to the left, as if the pilot were entering a barrel roll. However, the airplane only reached an altitude of about 1,000 feet agl during this maneuver. When the airplane was inverted, the roll stopped, and the airplane pitched down toward the ground. One witness noted that vapor trails were visible from the wing tips during the attempted pull out. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground in a nearly level attitude. The airplane was severely fragmented during the accident sequence and the debris field was extensive. No anomalies consistent with preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction were observed during postaccident examination, but the extent of the impact-related damage to the airframe precluded a complete examination of the flight control system. However, witness statements were consistent with the pilot initiating the final aerobatic maneuver from an altitude that did not allow full recovery of the airplane.
Toxicological tests identified ethanol in the pilot’s tissue samples; however, it is likely that the ethanol detected was due to postmortem production.

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

The pilot’s decision to initiate the aerobatic maneuver at an altitude that did not allow for full recovery of the airplane before ground impact.

Full narrative available

Index for Sep2012 | Index of months