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N495J accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Cedar Bluff, VA
37.087614°N, 81.759003°W

Tail number N495J
Accident date 15 Jun 1997
Aircraft type Goodwin RANS S-4
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On June 15, 1997, about 2030 eastern daylight time, an experimental homebuilt, tailwheel equipped airplane, a Goodwin Rans S-4, N495J, was destroyed when it impacted terrain during an uncontrolled descent from the initial climb after takeoff, near Cedar Bluff, Virginia. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight destined for Tazewell County Airport, Richlands, Virginia. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

Witnesses reported that this was the pilot's first flight in the experimental homebuilt airplane. The airplane was observed in the initial takeoff climb when it banked right, pitched down abruptly and impacted the ground.

A review of the pilot's log book revealed that he had a total flight experience of about 72 hours, of which, 4 hours were in tailwheel equipped airplane's. The pilot's two most recent flights were May 10, 1997, and April 15, 1997. The pilot had no previous flights in the accident airplane.

The wreckage was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector. In a report from the FAA Inspector, it stated that "it appears that the pilot inadvertently allowed the aircraft to stall and enter a spin and was unable to recover control prior to impact. An investigation of the aircraft and its systems failed to produce any evidence of failure or malfunction."

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