This July 2008 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.
Aircraft: RV-6A. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Sierraville, Calif. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot had logged 167.8 hours total flight time, including 68.8 in the accident plane. A local law enforcement officer reported that on the day of the accident, visibility was marginal in the area due to smoke. Several people reported seeing the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude over a sparsely populated wooded area. There were no known witnesses to the accident. The airplane’s wreckage was found strewn across a path about 200 feet in length. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical malfunction.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance with trees and terrain while maneuvering. The reduced visibility because of smoke was a factor.
For more information: NTSB.gov