Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N222ET accident description

Minnesota map... Minnesota list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Clearwater, MN
45.365521°N, 94.044982°W
Tail number N222ET
Accident date 22 Aug 2010
Aircraft type SCHNEIDER Christen Eagle II
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On August 22, 2010, at 1240 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Schneider Christen Eagle II, N222ET, received substantial damage on impact with terrain while performing aerobatic maneuvers near Clearwater, Minnesota. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The flight departed from Clearwater, Minnesota, at an unknown time.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot was reportedly performing aerobatic maneuvers near a relative's residence when the airplane impacted terrain in a nose-down attitude.

A witness reported that the airplane was performing rolls over his property before it entered a spiraling dive straight down. About 500 feet above ground level, he saw the propeller begin to turn as if cranked by the starter. He thought that the airplane recovered from the dive in an inverted attitude.


The pilot held a private pilot certificate that was issued on October 17, 2003. A pilot logbook entry dated April 3, 2010, shows that the pilot received his last flight review in a Beech J35. This flight instructor also provided the pilot with his "Eagle Familiarization" from April 4, 2010, to May 15, 2010, with a total of 11.3 hours of all of which were conducted in N222ET. The last pilot logbook entry was dated June 13, 2010, at which time he accumulated a total flight time of 514.6 hours of which 18.4 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The pilot's flight instructor and his mechanic did not believe that the pilot had any aerobatic experience or training.


The 1988 Christen Eagle II, serial number 0001, was an experimental amateur-built airplane powered by a Lycoming IO-360-A1A, serial number L-1039-51A, engine. The airplane was purchased by the pilot on March 3, 2010. The airplane received its last conditional inspection on June 9, 2010, at a total time of 470 hours. The engine inspection was also dated on this date with an engine total time of 1,725 hours and a time since overhaul of 470 hours.

The mechanic who performed the last conditional inspection reported that the airplane flight manual and weight and balance information was in a compartment behind the rear pilot seat. That compartment was broken open and did not contain the weight and balance information.

The mechanic said the he had flown the airplane with an aerobatic pilot before it was purchased by the pilot. During that flight, they only performed takeoff and landings. The mechanic said that when he flew with the aerobatic pilot, the center of gravity location was 1.25 inches forward of the aft limit and the airplane was about 5 pounds below gross weight. The mechanic was seated in the rear seat and aerobatic pilot was seated in the front seat. The mechanic's weight was 220 pounds and the aerobatic pilot's weight was 150 pounds.

The mechanic said that with someone who weighed 230-240 pounds in the front seat, a person who weighed 220 pounds in the rear seat, and full fuel, the airplane would be over gross weight and the center of gravity would be outside the aft limit.

According to Aviat Eagle Inc. website, the Eagle airplane has a useful load of 553 pounds with a Lycoming AEIO-360-A1D. The airplane has a usable fuel capacity of 24 gallons.

The pilot was seated in the rear seat and according to autopsy information weighed 212 pounds and the passenger weighed 237 pounds.


The main wreckage was in an upright position and located in a wet wooded area. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The magneto switch was in both position. The fuel tanks were broken open and fuel was noted on the ground/water that surrounded the wreckage.


An autopsy of the pilot was conducted by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office on August 23, 2010.

The FAA Final Forensic Toxicology Fatal Accident Report for the pilot reported no ethanol detected in muscle and brain, 79 (mg/dL, mg/hg) methanol detected in brain, and 19 (mg/dL, mg/hg) detected in muscle.


Neither the pilot nor the passenger were wearing parachutes as required by Part 91.307(c), which states in part:

(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds--

(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or

(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and his improper decision to perform aerobatic maneuvers without proper experience or training in aerobatic flight. Also causal was his conduct of aerobatic flight in an airplane loaded outside its weight and balance limits.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.