Low altitude aerobatics leads to fatal crash

Aircraft: American Champion 8KCAB Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Marysville, Ohio. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was performing low-altitude aerobatics for a ground-based observer to renew his low-level aerobatic competency waiver.

According to the observer the airplane appeared to be pulling out of a dive following a “modified clover-leaf/split-‘S,” when it hit the ground in a wings-level attitude.

The observer noted that nothing sounded out of the ordinary with respect to engine operation during the flight.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain sufficient altitude from the terrain while performing low-level aerobatics.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA112

This December 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.

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