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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 161645
Last updated: 19 September 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P51 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
North American TF-51D Mustang
Owner/operator:Lone Star Flight Museum
Registration: N4151D
C/n / msn: 44-73458A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Halls Lake near Chocolate Bay, Brazoria County, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Galveston, TX (KGLS)
Destination airport:Galveston, TX (KGLS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot and passenger departed on the flight in a vintage warbird airplane. After departure, radar tracked the flight along a bay in a southwestern direction. A witness reported that he heard the airplane overhead heading south and that he then saw the airplane slowly turn north and appear to descend at a high rate of speed before it impacted the water. The airplane was largely fragmented upon impact.
The flight was recorded by an onboard video recording system. A review of the video revealed that, a few minutes into the flight, the pilot asked the passenger if heíd like to fly the airplane. The passenger replied he was not a pilot, but heíd like to try it. The video showed that, with the passenger at the controls, the airplane steeply banked right to about 90 degrees, and the nose dropped; the pilot explained that back pressure was needed on the stick during turns to prevent the loss of lift. The conversation continued as the airplane was rolling to wings level and as the pilot was encouraging the passenger to pull back on the stick. During this time, the video showed the airplane descending toward the water. Neither the pilot nor passenger acknowledged the impending collision. It is likely that the pilotís focused attention on instructing the passenger contributed to the his lack of recognition of the impending collision. It could not be determined if the waterís smooth surface contributed to the pilotís loss of situational awareness. The accident is consistent with the pilotís loss of situational awareness resulting in controlled flight into the water.

Probable Cause: The pilot's loss of situational awareness while instructing the passenger, which resulted in the controlled flight of the airplane into the water.


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Revision history:

23-Oct-2013 23:14 Geno Added
19-May-2015 21:37 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Nature, Destination airport, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
29-Nov-2017 09:19 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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