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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144891
Last updated: 14 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic E300 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Extra EA-300
Registration: N45R
MSN: 045
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Salinas Municipal Airport - KSNS -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Salinas, CA (KSNS)
Destination airport:Salinas, CA (KSNS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Radar data recorded the airplane operating between 3,500 feet and 1,500 feet mean sea level. Two witnesses observed the airplane performing aerobatics. One witness stated that he observed the airplane perform two chandelles over the foothills north of his house, then the airplane turned south heading into an open valley. The airplane completed two aileron rolls and was halfway into a third roll when the nose pitched down, then pitched up, and the airplane rolled so that one wing was pointing down. The airplane then simultaneously rolled inverted and pitched down entering a very rapid descent into the ground. The witness stated that the engine was operating at what sounded like full power throughout the event.

On-scene examination determined that the airplane impacted the ground with the left wing down and a 30-degree nose-down pitch. The wreckage examination identified a loose, puck-like, 4.5-inch diameter portable XM-GPS antenna in the empennage tail space that houses the elevator bell crank. The antenna had a 9-mm diameter semicircular indentation witness mark that was consistent in shape and size to the end of a 9-mm diameter bolt that attaches the forward spar of the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage frame, located directly above the elevator bell crank. The antenna location and associated witness mark indicate that the unsecured antenna migrated to the tail section of the airplane and obstructed the free movement of the elevator bell crank, limiting the pilotís ability to control the airplane in pitch. The pilot had opened a weather service account linked through the XM-GPS antenna about 1 week before the accident. The GPS unit intended for use with the XM-GPS antenna was not located with the wreckage.
Probable Cause: A loose portable XM-GPS antenna that migrated to the tail section of the airplane and jammed the elevator bell crank. Contributing to the accident was the pilotís failure to account for the cockpit portable GPS antenna during preflight or postflight inspection.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

09-Apr-2012 07:31 RobertMB Added
09-Apr-2012 08:04 Geno Updated [Source]
09-Apr-2012 12:49 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
09-Apr-2012 14:49 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
17-Apr-2012 09:21 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source]
16-Feb-2013 14:26 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
23-Oct-2014 17:24 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Location]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:37 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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