Lack of training, altitude kills two

Aircraft: Christen Eagle II. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: San Angelo, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: According to an aerobatic flight instructor, the commercial pilot, who had logged 606 hours, had received 0.9 hours of dual aerobatic instruction from him in a Pitts S-2B airplane in 2009. No additional aerobatic instruction was noted in the pilot’s logbook.

The passenger was a 177-hour commercial pilot who held an instrument rating.

Radar data depicted the airplane performing several maneuvers shortly after takeoff consistent with aerobatic flight at altitudes below what is permitted by federal regulation and below what is recommended as minimum altitudes for aerobatic flight.

There were no witnesses to the airplane crash. Post-accident examination revealed no evidence of any pre-impact malfunction or failure of the airplane.

Probable cause: The pilot did not maintain sufficient altitude to recover from a low-level aerobatic maneuver.

NTSB Identification: CEN11FA299

This April 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. Conrad Werkenthin says

    TXAA Foundation has developed a pilot Safety Pledge–IPLEDGE–accronym PLEDGE–stand up, right hand elevated and say outloud–IPLEDGE in preflight and all flight–to PEEK at the fuel,LOOK at the weather, ELUDE IFR when VFR; DON’T stall; GROUND hurts–don’t Buzz; EXCLAIM GUMPS on approach.–Don’t crunch the airplane, don’t die or kill your passenger–for your sake and your family’s. Repeat the IPLEDGE each time you fly

    • RudyH says

      I like it… that pledge Conrad…..alsoooo……both of these boys, pilot and (pilot-passenger) had expired med certs. Let me say that AFA cadets have a duly stressful life for four years…okay now……a post mortem will never tell us what was occuring in the ‘mind record’ prior to the fatal accident. But in a visit to med examiner, an item of medical interest may surface for the young aviator which would possibly enable him to have more accurately pre-flighted himself the day of the fateful flight for ‘fit to fly’and he may have duly grounded himself…..just saying this…we must have current medical certificates. (I’m Not a doc, either)….

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