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.