Search mission ends in crash

This May 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub Injuries: 2 Minor. Location: Willow, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The private pilot and a passenger were on a flight to search for a friend missing in a remote area. The pilot was flying slow at 75 feet above the ground when the passenger saw the missing man lying on the ground near a snow-covered meadow.

The pilot started a right turn back to the meadow, adding power and initiating a climb. During the turn, the right wing stalled. There was insufficient altitude to recover and the Piper hit trees.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

For more information: NTSB Identification: ANC10CA034


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