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On January 12, 1996, about 1645 hours Pacific standard time, a Piper J2 cub, N17261, was destroyed following an in-flight loss of control during traffic pattern operations at a private airstrip in Lancaster, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight and no flight plan was filed. The pilot succumbed to his injuries 2 days after the accident. The flight originated at the airstrip about 1630 with the pilot performing touch-and-go landings.
A pilot witness on the ground observed the airplane about 250 to 300 feet agl turning from crosswind to downwind. The witness said the aircraft appeared to be slower than normal, then it appeared to stall, roll off to the left, pitch down, and impact the ground.
According to the pilot's logbook, he had accumulated about 1,105 total flight hours with the last entry on December 9, 1995. According to the airplane co-owners, they estimated that the pilot had flown the accident airplane a total of about 60 flight hours.
The airplane was manufactured as a 1936 Taylor Cub, which later became part of Piper Aircraft. According to records, the airplane had accumulated about 1,623 total hours of operation.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the wreckage occurred after the airplane had been moved to a storage location. An FAA airworthiness inspector examined and documented the airplane at the accident site prior to removal.
The horizontal stabilizer trim jackscrew was found trimmed to a full nose-up configuration. The trim system was tested during the examination and was found to be functional. The co-owners stated that the stick force to overpower a maximum trim either up or down in this airplane was not excessive due to the low airspeeds that the airplane flew. They stated that they normally kept the trim in the neutral position for all operations.
Control continuity was established to all flight controls. All components of the airplane were accounted for except for one outboard section of a propeller blade and brass tip assembly. The accident site was revisited in an attempt to locate the blade section without success.
The engine, carburetor, and fuel system were disassembled for examination. After a minor adjustment to the magneto points to correct for impact damage, the magneto was successfully sparked by hand rotation.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The pilot succumbed to his injuries on January 14, 1996. An autopsy was performed by the Los Angeles County Coroner. Toxicological tests were not performed.
The Safety Board did not take possession of the wreckage.