This August 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: Nieuport 24 bis. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Rhinebeck, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The ATP-rated pilot had more than 3,800 hours, including five in the accident airplane make and model. The accident flight was a two-airplane aerial demonstration of World War I vintage aircraft simulating a “dogfight” with the entire flight conducted at an altitude about 300 feet AGL. While maneuvering with the other airplane, the accident airplane entered a spin to the left. The pilot did not have enough altitude to recover. The airplane crashed into trees and caught fire.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and spin.
For more information: NTSB.gov