Neil would later be killed in this accident.
While checking the stall characteristics of a homebuilt acft, the acft descended in a stalled condition until crashing into a river. The plt was unable to lower the nose. Investigation revealed that he improperly positioned baffles in the fuel tanks resulting in an increase of 20 gallons. If the angle of attack were nose high fuel would shift aft resulting in an out of limit aft c.g. The fuselage had been improperly levelled resulting in a nose high attitude. As a result the position of the airfoil shaped tanks located fwd of each wing & bonded to the fuselage were improperly positioned. The fuel tanks are part of the wing & provide lift. This moved the center of lift fwd, & with the aft shifting of fuel resulted in the nose high descent. According to a plt who has flown a similarly designed acft, during flt testing it stalled & descended in the same attitude of the accident acft. Recovery occurred when he added and maintained full power.
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Posted By: Brett FerrellTuesday March 8th, 1988 at 9:16 PM