DFW05LA041
DFW05LA041

On December 19, 2004, approximately 1242 central standard time, an American Champion Aircraft 8KCAB single-engine aerobatic airplane, N992RS, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain while maneuvering near Texas City, Texas. The private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to DE Aviation Inc., of La Porte, Texas, and operated by Harvey and Rihn Aviation, of La Porte, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the La Porte Municipal Airport (T41), near La Porte, Texas, approximately 1215.

A witness, located adjacent to the accident site, reported in a written statement that he observed the airplane "flying upside down" approximately 50 feet above ground level for a distance of approximately 250 yards. As the pilot was rolling the airplane upright, one of the wings struck the ground. The witness added that he did not hear any abnormal sounds from the engine.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single-engine land, airplane single-engine sea, glider, and instrument airplane ratings. The pilot's most recent second-class medical certificate was issued on November 6, 2001, with a limitation stating "Must Wear Corrective Lenses." At the time of his most recent medical application, the pilot reported that he had accumulated a total of 370-hours of flight time.

Examination of the airplane, by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed that both wings and the cabin roof area were separated from the airframe. Both wings were also wrinkled throughout their respective span. All flight controls were observed within the wreckage distribution area. The fuselage area forward of the empennage was crushed aft. The propeller hub and blades were separated from the engine and were located next to the main wreckage.

On March 25, 2005, at the facilities of Air Salvage of Dallas, near Lancaster, Texas, the wreckage was examined by a representative from the NTSB. Flight control continuity was established aft to the empennage from the forward and aft control columns. Control cable continuity for the right wing was established from the aileron to the wing root attach point and from the right wing attach point on the fuselage to the forward and aft control columns. The aileron control cables for the right wing were cut at the wing attach point by aircraft recovery personal to facilitate recovery of the wreckage. Control cable continuity from the cockpit to the left wing could not be established. Both control cables to the left wing were separated adjacent to the fuselage attach point. Both cables displayed "broom straw" fraying consistent with overload. However, the opposite ends of the control cable remained attached to their respective attach points.

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