Accident Cassutt IIIM2 N94HA, Thursday 17 September 1998
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Date:Thursday 17 September 1998
Type:Silhouette image of generic CASS model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cassutt IIIM2
Registration: N94HA
MSN: H-1
Total airframe hrs:590 hours
Engine model:Continental O-200
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Reno Stead Airport (RTS/KRTS), Reno, NV -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Reno Stead Airport, NV (RTS/KRTS)
Destination airport:Reno Stead Airport, NV (RTS/KRTS)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
0n September, 17, 1998, at 0940 hours Pacific daylight time, a Hughes Cassutt 111M2, N94HA, collided with the ground while on base leg for landing at the Stead Airport, Reno, Nevada. The airplane was participating in the Reno National Championship Air Races and being operated by its owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane completed an International Formula One (IF1) heat race and was on approach for landing at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage in the ground collision sequence and the airline transport pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight and no flight plan was filed.

At the conclusion of an International Formula One (IF1) heat race at the Reno National Championship Air Races, four racers queued for landing. Winds were from 240 degrees at 17 knots gusting to 25 knots. Two airplanes landed successfully. A third airplane on final was closing on the airplane ahead and the pilot elected to do a left 360-degree turn and reenter the landing pattern. The fourth airplane was just turning onto the base leg at this time. Witnesses stated this airplane started a turn to the right and the nose of the airplane went up. This was followed by an immediate roll and entry into a nearly vertical, rolling dive. The airplane came to rest in the back yard of a residence. The pilot of the third airplane reported no adverse wind conditions on his base leg, but winds on base to final were gusty and the ride was bumpy. IF1 technicians under the supervision of the Federal Aviation Administration investigator found no discrepancies with the airframe or engine during a postaccident examination.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed margin while maneuvering in gusty wind conditions, which led to an inadvertent stall/spin at low altitude.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX98LA295
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

14 September 2007 N11XR Private 1 Reno, NV w/o


Photos: NTSB

Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
13-Oct-2022 10:48 Captain Adam Updated [Operator, Location, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report, Photo]
13-Oct-2022 10:48 Captain Adam Updated [Photo]

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