December 04, Rosamond, Calif. / Wing Derringer


At 0854 Pacific time, a Wing Aircraft D-1 crashed in the desert about 11 nm from Rosamond. The ATP certificated instructor and student pilot were killed. The student was enrolled in a preparatory course at a civilian test pilot school prior to beginning an 11-month-long test pilot program. The accident flight was part of the courses multiengine aircraft familiarization training and, according to the lesson plan and flight card, was to include stalls and Vmc maneuvers. Investigators used airport surveillance radar from the High Desert Tracon at Edwards AFB to identify the flight track of the accident airplane. The airplanes track indicated maneuvers between 6,000 and 5,200 feet msl over 2,600 foot msl terrain. After descending and regaining altitude twice, the track indicated a third left-turning, descending maneuver. The last radar returns indicated a descent of over 1,500 feet in 15 seconds with a ground speed of about 60 kts. The aircrafts position over the ground remained relatively constant during this descent. The airplane was found upright near a shallow crater with ground scar extending only a few yards from the wreckage. The landing gear and flaps were extended. The fuselage and cockpit structure were partially collapsed in a downward direction.


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