Initial Report on Fatal Plane Crash Released by NTSB

Robert Odegaard of Kindred partially completed a practice barrel roll 5:55 p.m. Sept. 7 before the roll slowed and ultimately stopped just prior to the pilot’s fatal crash at the Barnes County Municipal Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board has determined.

According to the preliminary report released Sept. 21, a witness reported that the practice routine proceeded normally.

“A witness reported that the practice routine proceeded normally. During the final barrel roll, the airplane pitched to about 10 degrees nose up and rolled left until about 10 degrees past inverted, at which point the roll slowed and ultimately stopped. The airplane then pitched down and started to pull through from a vertical nose down attitude. Vapor trails were visible from both wing tips from about 80 degrees to 40 degrees nose down. At this point the airplane was about 100 feet above ground level. The airplane subsequently impacted the ground in about a 10-degree nose down, wings level attitude.

“Initial ground impact was located about 500 feet from the approach threshold of runway 31, about 100 feet southwest of the edge of the runway. The debris path was oriented on a southerly bearing and was about 450 feet in length. The airplane was fragmented during the impact sequence and a postimpact fire ensued.”

According to the NTSB, “a Goodyear F2G Corsair, N5577N, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during an aerobatic practice routine at the Barnes County Municipal Airport in Valley City.
The pilot was fatally injured. The aircraft was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an air show practice flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from BAC prior to the practice routine.

Odegaard restored the airplane, a World War II era fighter airplane. Records indicated that it entered service with the United States Navy in February 1946. It was restored and re-issued an experimental airworthiness certificate for exhibition and air racing purposes in July 2011.

The planned Wings and Wheels AirShow originally set for Sept. 8 was canceled after Odegaard’s death.