April 8, 2012, Salinas, Calif., Extra EA-300


At 0655 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed. The flight originated about 0645.

A witness observed the airplane perform two chandelles over the foothills north of his house, then the airplane turned south toward the open valley. The airplane performed 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. It then simultaneously rolled inverted and pitched down, entering a very rapid descent into the ground. The engine was operating at what sounded like full power throughout the entire event. The airplane impacted the ground in an approximately 30-degree nose-down and left-wing-down attitude.


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