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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] RV-8 crash info

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC] RV-8 crash info


Thread: [IAC] RV-8 crash info

Message: [IAC] RV-8 crash info

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: "Flyin Brian" <snaproll at>

Date: Tue, 02 Jun 1998 07:13:43 UTC


  Greetings folks,

As an RV-8 builder, I have been CLOSELY monitoring this tragedy and the 
resultant impact to the RV-8 design. Van's Aircraft has not released an 
"official" statement yet, but one of my fellow builders spoke with the 
factory today and they are indicating that pilot error *could* have been 
the cause. The RV-8 wing is not terribly different from the -4 and -6, 
and follows known, proven technology in it's design.  The NTSB has 
released a preliminary report, indicating simply "Breakup of the 
airframe". The wing design has been loaded to failure at the factory, 
and indicated structural breakage at +9G, but appeared sufficiently 
sound to maintain 1G flight and landing. This was done in a gradual 
manner, with sand bags, of course. Perhaps the sudden onset of critical 
G loads would cause a more catastrophic failure mode.

We all know that ANY airplane can be overloaded and damaged, with 
resultant horrific results. The RV builds speed so well, that a 
heavy-handed pilot could overload it rather quickly. I have flown an 
RV-4, and was very impressed with how sensitive and "firm" the controls 
feel. It's a finger tip airplane, and stick forces per G are  low. I'm 
not sufficiently experienced to comment any further on it, but these are 
my initial impressions.

The crash resulted in the deaths of the factory demonstrator pilot, 
(with vast RV experience) and his passenger (pilot rated). There has 
been no statement indicating post or pre-crash fire, but the airframe 
was substantially damaged in the impact. Evidently, post crash 
inspection of the wreckage did not reveal anything substantial, and 
additional metallurgical evaluation is being conducted by the NTSB.
Details of the RV-8 wing may be seen on my Web page at:

Fly safe folks, preflight and fly your aircraft like your life depends 
on it...because IT DOES.

Brian Denk
RV-8 #379 
Albuquerque, NM
IAC #510177
*The above comments are purely my own, and in no way do I speak on 
behalf of Van's Aircraft or anyone else's behalf*

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