The pilot, who was the airplane owner, was on a local, pleasure flight near Carrollton, Georgia. Witnesses observed the Skybolt flying low, followed by a rapid pitch down or loss of airplane control.
The plane hit a tree about 60 feet above the ground and continued another 46 feet until it hit the ground. Most of the wreckage was consumed in a post-accident fire and both people aboard were killed in the crash.Primary flight control continuity was confirmed from the control surfaces to the cockpit controls.
All of the airplane’s primary structural components were accounted for within the wreckage debris field. Several tree branches with smooth, angular cuts, indicative of contact with a propeller under power, were observed within the wreckage debris field.
A disassembly and examination of the engine revealed no evidence of a pre-existing mechanical malfunction or failure.
A cable attachment bracket for the elevator trim tab was found fractured, however examination of the fracture surface revealed overstress signatures, and no evidence of a pre-existing anomaly was found. The fracture likely occurred during the impact sequence.
The pilot, who had owned the airplane for about 15 years, only flew it occasionally, and his last logged flight in it was more than a year before the accident flight.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as an in-flight loss of control for reasons that could not be determined.
NTSB Identification: ERA14FA339
This July 2014 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.