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N30BP accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Stanley, NM
35.147546°N, 105.976966°W
Tail number N30BP
Accident date 31 May 1998
Aircraft type Jacob Tussel EVERETT B1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On May 31, 1998, at 1422 mountain daylight time, N30BP, a Jacob Tussel Everett B1, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering 1 mile north of Stanley, New Mexico. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Stanley, New Mexico, approximately 1400.

There were only two witnesses to the accident. They said the pilot passed over their house between 300 and 500 feet and made "a hard right roll." The witnesses said the "plane [engine] usually cuts out or dies when he is upside down and will restart when he levels out. The engine did restart or picked up rpm and then he banked right and leveled out. . .He dipped down at about a 30 degree angle" and impacted the ground. The witnesses said the pilot normally flew around the area once or twice a week, and it was not uncommon for him to roll the airplane at a low altitude over their house.


The pilot, Bill M. Patterson, age 68, was born on September 19, 1929. At the time of his death, he was a private businessman but had previously served as a Lockheed Aircraft Corporation flight test director. He held Commercial Pilot certificate no. 1288508, dated September 13, 1971, with airplane single, multiengine, and instrument ratings, and Private Pilot privileges in gliders. He also held a third class airman medical certificate, dated September 20, 1996. When Mr. Patterson made application for this medical certificate, he estimated his total flight time as 6,923 hours.

Only one logbook was located and examined. The first entry was dated November 5, 1976, and the last entry was dated May 27, 1998. There were several time gaps in the logbook. A summary of Mr. Patterson's flight time is attached as an exhibit to this report. Mr. Patterson checked out in the Everett B1 Special (original registration was N303ME) on July 14, 1993.


N30BP, an Everett B1 biplane (s/n 100), was built by Jacob Tussel in 1992, and was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate in the Experimental Category on July 26, 1993. Mr. Patterson purchased the airplane and had it registered in his name on August 23, 1993.

The airplane was equipped with a Textron Lycoming O-290-D2 (s/n 5235-21), rated at 135 horsepower at 2,600 rpm (140 hp at 2,800 rpm), and an all metal 2-blade McCauley propeller. Its model number and serial number could not be determined. The airplane maintenance records were never located.


At about the time of the accident, Albuquerque International Airport, located about 37 miles southwest of the accident site, reported the following weather observation: Wind, 220 degrees at 9 knots, 190 degrees variable 270 degrees. Visibility, 10 sm. Scattered clouds at 15,000 feet, ceiling 25,000 feet broken. Temperature 29 degrees C. (84.2 degrees F.). Dew point -7 degrees C. (19.4 degrees F.). Altimeter 30.18 inches of mercury. Remarks, altocumulus standing lenticular clouds distant north. According to witnesses, weather at the accident site was VMC.


The on-scene investigation commenced and terminated on June 1, 1998.

The top of a 5-foot cactus plant was found severed. There was no evidence of contact with the surrounding Juniper trees. A large ground scar was noted 13 feet, 6 inches from the cactus plant and 6 feet to the right of a smaller scar, measuring 3 feet in length. From the cactus plant to the ground scar, the magnetic heading was 290 degrees. From the beginning of the ground scar to the main body of wreckage, the magnetic heading was 300 degrees. Fourteen feet beyond the ground scar, in an area approximately 8 feet in diameter, were portions of the main landing gear and bungee. About 9 feet to the left of this area was a faint ground scar 18 feet in length. Near the end of this scar, 16 inches inboard and measuring 19 feet in length, was another faint ground scar. Thirty feet beyond the landing gear remnants and byngee was an oil slick 18 feet in length. The main body of wreckage came to rest 34 feet beyond the oil slick.

The engine was separated from the fuselage and was found 12 feet away. The propeller was separated from the engine and was found about a foot from the main body of wreckage. The 2-blade metal propeller was twisted in an S-curl fashion, was bent aft about 8 inches from the tip, and bore numerous 90 degree chordwise scratches on the cambered surfaces. The spinner was crushed around the propeller hub, and bore faint circumferential scratching.

All major aircraft parts and components were accounted for. Flight control continuity was established. Total length, from contact with the cactus plant to the main body of wreckage, was 130 feet.


An autopsy (#2963-98) was performed by the New Mexico Medical Examiner's Office. A toxicology screen (#9800143001) was performed by FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI). According to CAMI's report, no ethanol, drugs, carbon monoxide, or cyanide was detected.

According to the pilot's wife, her husband had a heart attack in 1994. According to FAA's Airman Medical Certification Branch, the pilot did not report having had a heart attack on his applications for medical certification dated January 9, 1995, and September 20, 1996. His wife said he had only recently begun taking Prinivil (one 10 mg tablet) in the morning, and Pravachol (one 20 mg tablet) in the evening.


Other than the Federal Aviation Administration, there were no other parties to the investigation.

The wreckage was released to a representative of the pilot's insurance company on June 2, 1998.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's intentional performance of an aerobatic maneuver at an altitude insufficient for a safe recovery.

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