This January 2010 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-2. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Picayune, Miss. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: According to a witness, the pilot was preparing the RV-4 for a test flight after replacing a ground wire in the avionics. The pilot and passenger boarded the airplane, the engine started, and they made a normal departure to the north.
Another witness said that shortly after takeoff, when it was still at a low altitude, the plane rolled to the left, pitched down, and crashed.
The post-accident examination revealed that impact damage were consistent with a stall and spin, while fragmentation of the propeller was consistent with engine operation at impact. Using weight and balance documents recovered at the site and the actual weights of the occupants, investigators determined that the airplane was loaded about 250 pounds in excess of the experimental amateur-built kit manufacturer’s recommended maximum gross weight, and that the center of gravity was located more than .25 inches aft of the envelope for the maximum gross weight.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the overweight and aft-center-of-gravity condition of the airplane at takeoff.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: ERA10LA120