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On October 30, 1993, at 1600 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8KCAB, N130KS, sustained substantial damage near Saratoga, Arkansas, when it impacted the terrain and trees while maneuvering. The private pilot received fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight.
During interviews, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, witnesses revealed the following information. The airplane departed Texarkana, Arkansas, at approximately 1525. At 1550 the airplane was observed performing several aerobatic maneuvers at an estimated altitude of 1,500 feet above the ground. The airplane was subsequently observed descending as the pilot performed several left 180 degree rolls to the inverted position. The airplane was described as "lower to the ground with each maneuver." The airplane then made two passes over the witnesses and rolled into a left turn, as the pilot "waved at the witnesses." During the third pass, the airplane rolled 360 degrees to the left into an inverted position. The airplane was observed descending toward trees as it rolled upright. A descending turn was made to the right (southeast) when the airplane impacted the ground and trees.
During personal and telephone interviews, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, with acquaintances and flight instructors, the following information was revealed. The pilot purchased the airplane on June 20, 1993. On July 13, 1993, the pilot received the tailwheel airplane endorsement for competency in normal and crosswind takeoff and landings, including wheel landings. During the instructional periods, flight maneuvers were done at or above 3,500 feet above the ground. No aerobatic maneuvers were done during the dual flights. One acquaintance said that he and the pilot had done aerobatic maneuvers in the Bellanca; however, they were not performed below 4,000 feet above the ground.
Pilot logbooks were not located during the investigation. The medical certificate expired in July 1993. An enclosed statement from a medical associate reported that the pilot "was in excellent health."
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION:
The main wreckage came to rest at 33 degrees 45 minutes north longitude and 93 degrees 52 minutes west latitude. At 210 feet southeast of 75 foot trees there was a ground scar with pieces of red paint and fabric. The right wing came to rest in trees to the southeast of the ground scar. The fuselage and cockpit were reported by local authorities to have come to rest 15 feet above the ground in the trees. They further stated that the trees were cut during the rescue procedures. The wreckage distribution path was along a measured magnetic heading of 115 degrees. For additional details refer to the enclosed diagram.
Flight control cable examination did not reveal any discrepancies. Fuel lines, fittings, and fuel tank integrity were compromised. The fuel selector valve and cockpit engine controls were destroyed. Local authorities reported physical evidence of fuel at the site. Elevator and rudder trim tabs were destroyed. The propeller blades exhibited scratches, bending, and twisting. Striations and gouges were observed on the outer tip and leading edge of the propeller blades. The engine was examined and there were no discrepancies found that would have contributed to the accident.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION:
An autopsy was performed by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory of Little Rock, Arkansas. Toxicological findings were negative.
The airplane was released to the owner's representative.