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N7691 accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Eaton Rapids, MI
42.509204°N, 84.655814°W
Tail number N7691
Accident date 13 Oct 1996
Aircraft type Dellicker STARDUSTER TOO SA300
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 13, 1996, at 1459 eastern daylight time, an experimental Starduster Too SA300, N7691, was destroyed when it impacted the terrain during the initial climb following takeoff from a residential airstrip in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Witnesses reported that the pilot performed an aggressive pull up, and lost control of the airplane. The commercial pilot and one passenger sustained fatal injuries. The local, 14 CFR Part 91, personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was filed.

A private pilot, who was a witness to the accident, reported that he observed the airplane depart on runway 26 at the Skyway Estates Airport. " After breaking ground contact , the aircraft leveled off , gained airspeed, and then near the end of the runway the pilot pulled up sharply into a steep climb. After a couple of hundred of feet of climb [the airplane] entered a steep right turn of approximately 45 degrees. The aircraft lost control and fell to the ground and crashed." He reported that he did not hear any "unusual" sound and he believed the engine was at full power.

A second witness reported that he was driving east on Columbia highway with his family. He noticed an airplane "going 90 degrees straight up and straight down. We continued to travel east... past a set of woods and we saw a plane had crashed in a field and was fully involved in fire."

The wreckage was inspected by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector. He reported that a ground scar led to the main wreckage 75 feet away, with "no evidence of the airplane skidding... . " The main wreckage was located in a plowed field approximately 100 feet west and 500 feet north of the departure end of runway 26. The airplane was "badly burned and very little remained of it... the push pull tubes and cables for the ailerons, rudder, and elevator were intact... ."

One propeller blade was bent near the root in the aft direction and exhibited minor torsional bending. The other blade exhibited minor "s" shaped bending.

An autopsy of the pilot was conducted at the Sparrow Hospital, 1215 E. Michigan, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7980. FAA toxicological testing was negative for all tests conducted except phenyltoloxamine and and pheniramine were detected in the blood and urine specimens and phenylpropanolamine was detected in the urine specimen. Phenyltoloxamine and pheniramine are nonprescription antihistamines and phenylpropanolamine is a nonprescription decongestant.

NTSB Probable Cause

the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and subsequent inadvertent stall of the airplane. A factor was the ostentatious display.

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