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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133834
Last updated: 17 June 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic RV6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Van's RV-6
Registration: N43BL
C/n / msn: 21612
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Inyokern, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:IYK
Destination airport:IYK
Investigating agency: NTSB

On June 14, 1996, at 1500 hours Pacific daylight time, a Van's RV-6, N43BL, experimental amateur built airplane, experienced an in-flight loss of control while maneuvering in the traffic pattern at the Inyokern Airport, Inyokern, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane impacted level terrain and was destroyed. The private pilot was seriously injured, and the pilot rated passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated from Inyokern at 1435.
In the pilot's accident report, he described the events leading up to the accident. The pilot reported that following takeoff from runway 33 he climbed to 6,500 feet mean sea level (msl) and performed an aileron roll. He then flew back to Inyokern and entered the traffic pattern for landing on runway 33. The pilot reported that he announced his position and turned from the downwind to the left base leg. At this time he felt that he "needed more room" between his airplane and the end of the runway. The pilot indicated he then "made a turn to the right" (away from the landing threshold). Immediately thereafter, the plane buffeted and aileron and elevator control were lost. The pilot reported that he "gave the RV-6 full (engine) power." The airplane stalled, it "broke to the left," and despite application of full right rudder the airplane crashed.


According to one witness, during the last 20 to 30 seconds of the airplane's flight it entered a left turn with a bank angle which varied from 10 to 20 degrees. The airplane's maximum elevation over the ground was 150 feet. The witness stated that as the airplane turned through 270 degrees of arc its left bank angle increased to 80 or 90 degrees. The airplane's descent rate increased, and it collided with the terrain while still in a left wing low attitude. No smoke or fire was observed during the flight.
A second witness reported observing the airplane while on the base leg. This witness estimated that initially the airplane was between 200 and 300 feet above ground level (agl). The airplane entered a left 45-degree angle of bank, and descended between 100 and 200 feet agl. As the airplane continued its left turn, the bank angle increased to about 80 degrees. The witness reported that during the airplane's last seconds "of controlled flight" its altitude had decreased to within 100 feet above the ground and then the airplane appeared to stall.
The pilot rated passenger in the right seat stated that he believed the aircraft had been pushed beyond its capabilities and dropped out of the sky. He felt the aircraft buffet during the turn just before the impact.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport/Facility Directory, the Inyokern airport's elevation is 2,455 feet msl. The recommended traffic pattern altitude is 3,255 feet msl, or 800 feet agl. The temperature was about 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the density altitude was about 6,000 feet.

PROBABLE CAUSE: The pilot's failure to maintain control of his airplane and stalled while intentionally performing a low altitude maneuver on base leg in a high density altitude environment.


NTSB id 20001208X06032

Revision history:

27-Jun-2016 07:16 junior sjc Updated [Operator, Narrative]
03-Jul-2016 06:30 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
23-Jan-2017 10:59 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]

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