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NTSB Prelim: Star Lite SL1

The Owner Observed It Enter A Climb, Followed By The Left Wing Separating From The Fuselage

Location: Corning, CA Accident Number: WPR23LA112
Date & Time: February 15, 2023, 17:30 Local Registration: UNREG
Aircraft: Star Lite SL1 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On February 15, 2023, about 1730 Pacific standard time, an unregistered Star Lite SL-1, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Corning, California. The pilot was fatally injured. The unregistered airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The owner of the airplane stated that on the day of the accident he and the accident pilot were taking turns flying the airplane. The owner flew the airplane in the pattern with about 6 takeoffs and landings. Shortly after the last landing, the accident pilot flew the airplane once around the pattern and landed without incident. On the accident pilot’s second flight, he took off from runway 35 and performed an “aerobatic roll.” As the airplane was at the bottom of the roll, the owner observed it enter a climb, followed by the left wing separating from the fuselage.

Another witness who was located at the airport reported that they observed the airplane takeoff, make a left turn, and paralleled the runway while it climbed to an altitude of about 2,000 ft above ground level (agl). The witness stated that the pilot “tried to do a barrel roll” and opined that the airplane “had too much ground speed at the bottom of the roll” and when the pilot “tried to pull up, the left wing separated.”

Responding law enforcement personnel reported that the airplane impacted the ground about 0.5 miles southwest of the Corning Municipal Airport. The airplane came to rest in an orchard with debris scattered throughout an approximated 90-yard radius. The left wing was located about 60 yards northwest of the main wreckage.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov


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