Stall on approach proves fatal

This October 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: Grumman American AA5A Injuries: 1 Fatal, 2 Serious. Location: Springfield, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land near the runway numbers instead of landing at the touchdown zone 1,000 feet from the approach end of the runway in effort to provide additional separation from another airplane that had just landed. While on short final, he determined that he might touch down short of the runway by 3 or 4 feet, so he raised the nose to extend the glidepath. The airplane stalled and bounced hard on the runway.

On the second bounce the pilot attempted to execute a go-around. As he pushed the throttle full, the airplane veered off the left side of the runway. It went across the grass then veered back onto the runway. The pilot raised the flaps. The airplane became airborne again and stalled again, hitting the ground in a nose-low attitude, and then caught fire.

No pre-impact issues that could have resulted in a loss of control were found.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during an attempted go-around, which led to an aerodynamic stall.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN11FA008

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