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N5439N accident description

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Crash location 43.066389°N, 83.272223°W
Nearest city Lapeer, MI
43.051416°N, 83.318834°W
2.6 miles away
Tail number N5439N
Accident date 19 Jun 2004
Aircraft type Bracken CB540
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On June 19, 2004, at 1230 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Bracken CB540 (Berkut 540 variant), N5439N, built and operated by a private pilot, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with wires, trees and terrain following a loss of control during final approach to runway 36 (3,605 feet by 50 feet, asphalt), at the Dupont-Lapeer Airport (D95), near Lapeer, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot was seriously injured. The flight departed Detroit City Airport (DET) at an unconfirmed time.

The pilot reported that the airplane had a "strong desire to turn left" during the flight to D95. The pilot stated he monitored the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for D95 and he "lost control short of landing."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-site examination of the airplane. The inspector stated that the airplane impacted wires prior to colliding with trees and terrain. The inspector reported that flight control continuity could not be established due to the extent of damage incurred during the impact. The forward portion of the fuselage, including the canard, elevators and flight control mixing-unit, was extensively damaged. The source of the flight control malfunction could not be determined.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's loss of control due to an undetermined flight control system malfunction. Contributing factors to the accident were the wires and trees.

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