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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 160753
 
This record has been locked for editing.

Date:20-SEP-2013
Time:16:51
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV7 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Van's RV-7A
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N174BK
MSN: 70340
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Hamilton Township, NJ -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Cross Keys, NJ (17N)
Destination airport:Cross Keys, NJ (17N)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
After taking off, the pilot climbed the experimental amateur-built airplane to 6,500 feet mean sea level in visual meteorological conditions; the airplane remained in level flight for about 13 minutes and was traveling about 130 knots indicated airspeed. The airplane then suddenly lost about 3500 feet in altitude, accelerated to about 220 knots, and reversed direction within a 10 second period. Moments later, the airplane was observed traveling in a northwesterly direction at a low altitude, almost completely upside down at one point, with pieces of the airplane falling to the ground. Recorded radar data revealed that the airplane had entered a steep descending and accelerating left turn, and portions of the empennage separated from the airplane. The airplane continued on a descending, turning flight path until it impacted terrain. A postimpact fire ensued.
The wreckage path was about ˝-mile long and contained three distinct areas of debris. The first area contained the lower half of the rudder. The second area contained the vertical stabilizer, the rudder balance weight, the left horizontal stabilizer, the left elevator, the left wingtip, the left elevator balance weight, and the cockpit canopy—all of which had separated from their mounting locations. The third area contained the main wreckage (the fuselage, engine, and wings), which struck the top of a tree, fell to the ground, and came to rest inverted. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of an inflight fire, explosion, flight control failure, bird strike, or any preexisting structural anomaly.
Review of the airplane’s design revealed that at an aerobatic gross weight of 1,600 pounds, the airplane complied with the 6/-3G standards of the FAA’s aerobatic category. It had a maximum maneuvering speed of 124 knots and a never exceed speed of 200 knots. At the time of the inflight breakup, the airplane was traveling 20 knots above the published never exceed speed.
A friend of the pilot noted that he had seen the pilot recover after falling out of a maneuver at low altitude before, and that it was not uncommon for the pilot to sometimes fall out of a maneuver (loop and/or roll). Review of a video taken by his friend revealed that, during that flight, the pilot performed a left roll. During that maneuver, the pilot allowed the nose to drop and the airplane lost approximately 1,000 feet of altitude.
The accident airplane’s abrupt and sudden maneuvering, which exceeded its design limitations, is consistent with the pilot’s loss of control after attempting an aerobatic maneuver.

Probable Cause: The pilot's improper aerobatic maneuver that resulted in a loss of control, exceedance of the airplane's design limitations, and a subsequent in-flight breakup of the airplane.

Sources:

NTSB

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report
Location


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Sep-2013 23:22 Geno Added
20-Sep-2013 23:40 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]
20-Sep-2013 23:41 Geno Updated [Operator]
21-Sep-2013 06:28 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Narrative]
21-Sep-2013 19:54 Anon. Updated [Date]
11-Sep-2016 07:17 junior sjc Updated [Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
16-Sep-2016 05:43 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
19-Sep-2016 06:38 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 09:16 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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