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N2755Z accident description

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Tail numberN2755Z
Accident dateMay 04, 1996
Aircraft typeNorth American HARVARD MK II
LocationLafayette, LA
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On May 4, 1996, at 1233 central daylight time, a North American Harvard MK II, N2755Z, registered to and operated by H-TRIF Holding, Inc., under Title 14 CFR Part 91, crashed following a loss of control while performing aerobatics at an air show on the Lafayette Regional Airport, Lafayette, Louisiana. The airplane was destroyed, and the airline transport rated pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The flight originated from the airport at 1220, and the aerobatic performance began at 1228. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

Review of video footage of the accident taped by air show spectators revealed that the airplane made a low pass down runway 22R, pulled up, and entered a roll to the right. As the airplane reached the inverted position, it hesitated, then the nose dropped, and the airplane began descending while continuing to roll to the right. The airplane impacted the ground upright with the left wing low near the intersection of taxiway "J" and runway 11.


According to information provided by the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), the pilot had more than 600 flight hours in North American T-6 aircraft and had given more than 50 air show performances in a T-6. (The North American Harvard MK II is the Canadian version of the T-6.) ICAS also provided copies of the pilot's Application for Statement of Aerobatic Competency (FAA Form 8710.7) for 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. As of March 12, 1996, the pilot was approved for solo and formation flights with no altitude restriction in T-6, Seafury, Iskra, and L-39 aircraft.

The airplane's owner reported that the pilot assisted him in selecting a "T-6" to purchase and, following his acquisition of N2755Z in January 1996, the pilot had given him flight instruction in the airplane as well as flying it solo. The owner estimated that the pilot had flown N2755Z approximately 30 hours.


On November 20, 1992, following importation from Canada into the United States, the airplane was issued a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental/exhibition category. The last condition inspection was performed on April 30, 1996, at an airframe total time of 6,035 hours. Review of the maintenance logbooks revealed no record of any uncorrected maintenance discrepancies.


Examination of the accident site revealed a linear wreckage path, including ground scars, extending for a distance of 328 feet on a measured magnetic heading of 154 degrees. The first evidence of ground impact was a ground scar containing one propeller blade. Both wings separated from the airframe with the left wing coming to rest at the 82 foot mark and the right wing coming to rest at the 199 foot mark. The main wreckage consisting of the fuselage, empennage, and wing center section was located at the 208 foot mark.

The engine separated from the airframe and came to rest at the 302 foot mark. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft and one blade remained attached to the hub. Both propeller blades exhibited chordwise scratches, leading edge gouging, and torsional twisting.

Rudder cable continuity from the rudder horn to the forward rudder pedals was confirmed. Elevator cable continuity from the elevator to the forward control stick bellcrank was confirmed. Control continuity was also confirmed from both the elevator trim tab and the rudder trim tab to the cockpit. The rear control stick was found stowed, and the rear 4-point harness was fastened. Aileron control continuity could not be verified due to the extent of the impact damage.


An autopsy of the pilot was performed by Emil M. Laga, M.D., at the Rabenhorst Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on May 5, 1996. Toxicological tests were negative.


The airplane was released to the registered owner at the completion of the on-scene investigation.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.