First flight in 25 years, last flight ever

Aircraft: Maule M-5-180C. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Emory, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.

What reportedly happened: The pilot, age 80, had logged more than 1,300 hours, his son said he had not accumulated many hours in the Maule, and had limited experience flying the airplane from his airstrip. Prior to purchasing the airplane, the pilot had not flown for 25 years.

The accident occurred on the pilot’s private airstrip. According to a witness, the airplane bounced twice during landing before power was applied. The airplane climbed to an altitude of 100 feet, wobbled to the left and right before it banked to the left and entered a spin. The airplane crashed in a near-vertical attitude and caught fire.

Witness reports and recorded weather observations indicated the presence of a gusty crosswind at the time of the accident.

Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of control and failure to attain/maintain adequate airspeed during an attempted go-around after a hard bounced landing, resulting in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s recent minimal experience in airplane make/model and in operations at the grass airstrip.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA086

This November 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.

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