On September 17, 1997, about 1015 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Louttit Celebrity, N729BL, registered to a private owner, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91, local personal flight, had a structural failure while maneuvering near Ridgeland, South Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private-rated pilot was not injured. The flight had originated from Ridgeland Airport at 0950. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
While maneuvering the airplane through aerobatic loops, and after completing five successfully, the pilot said he was at the bottom of the sixth loop when he heard a "loud noise." He then saw the top fabric was ripped aft, and he could see the fabric aft of the trailing edge. He turned the airplane towards the airport in an attempt to land on runway 03. The pilot stated that it took full engine power to maintain a 1,500 feet-per-minute rate of descent. He intended to land on the grass on the side of the runway, but could not make the field and was forced to land in a swamp with overgrown vines, and 4 to 5 feet deep water.
There was a "G" meter on the airplane and the pilot said during the loop the meter was indicating 3.4. The meter was rated at 4.0 and was tested at 6.0. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the wood forward of the wing spar had failed.