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NTSB: Pilot Error Probably Caused Ian Groom's Demise

SU-31 Impacted Water In Flat Spin

One year after aerobat Ian Groom lost his life in an aerial display at the Fort Lauderdale Air & Sea Show, the NTSB Thursday ruled pilot error was the probable cause of the mishap.

From the NTSB finding of probable cause:

According to the show announcer, the pilot approached the show box and climbed to perform his first maneuver. The pilot performed the corkscrew maneuver that contained 56 consecutive snap rolls. After completing the snap rolls the pilot was excited at how many he had preformed. He then climbed to an approximate altitude of 5000 feet and informed the announcer that he was going to conduct a flat spin maneuver.

According to the announcer the number rotations the pilot conducted seemed to exceed the normal amount the pilot had conducted in the pass. The spin maneuver continued until the airplane collided with the water. The airplane came to rest approximately 20 feet below the water surface and 1700 feet off the shoreline of Fort Lauderdale. No mechanical or flight control anomalies were reported by the pilot prior to the accident. The announcer has been announcing for the pilot for 3 years.

The pilot's failure to recover from an intentional spin during an attempted aerobatic maneuver.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20040506X00565&key=1

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