FTW98LA409
FTW98LA409

On September 26, 1998, at 0853 central daylight time, a Champion 7EC tailwheel equipped airplane, N9098B, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while maneuvering near Catoosa, Oklahoma. The private pilot and his passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the Sam Riggs Flying Service, Inc., of Claremore, Oklahoma, under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for local flight for which a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight originated from the Sam Riggs Airpark (K11) near Claremore, Oklahoma, at approximately 0800.

The operator reported that the pilot attended his school's agricultural pilot training course from December 1997 through January 1998. The pilot asked to rent the airplane to maintain his proficiency in tailwheel equipped airplanes. The 265 hour pilot told the operator at the time of the rental that he would be taking the airplane for an hour and a half. The operator added that he was under the impression that the pilot was going to take his passenger for breakfast somewhere in the local flying area.

According to law enforcement personnel who responded to the accident site, the airplane "stalled and crashed while simulating aerial application maneuvers over a soy bean field." The 40 year old pilot, who was occupying the front seat, told the ambulance attendant that the airplane "entered a spin and he was unable to recover due to the airplane's low altitude."

Law enforcement personnel reported that the airplane impacted the ground in a right turn in a nose low attitude. The right main landing gear and the right wing sustained structural damage. Fuel was found leaking from the fuel cell; however, there was no fire.

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