A witness located near the accident site in Seabeck, Washington, reported observing an airplane “spinning out of control” as it descended toward the water and breaking apart as it descended out of sight behind a stand of trees.
Some wreckage debris consistent with the RV-7 was found floating on the water’s surface, however, the majority of the wreckage was not located. The pilot died in the crash.
Review of recorded radar data showed the airplane departing and then climbing to cruise altitude. The data then showed the airplane descend and climb twice.
The last recorded radar target was located at 7,000 feet about one mile southwest of the recovered debris.
The reason for the loss of control could not be determined because of the limited amount of wreckage that was recovered.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a loss of control for reasons that could not be determined because the airplane impacted water, and the majority of the wreckage was not recovered.
NTSB Identification: WPR15LA092
This January 2015 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.