Aircraft: Maule M-7-235. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Warrenton, Va. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The commercial pilot had logged approximately 1,066 hours, but his time in the Maule could not be determined.
According to a CFI who had flown with him on several occasions, the pilot performed turns in the traffic pattern at 45°of bank. In addition, during the most recent instructional flight he pilot did not properly recover the plane after hearing the stall warning horn. The CFI had to instruct the pilot on how to recover from the impending stall.
According to witnesses on the ground at the airport, while turning left from base to final, the Maule appeared to bank in excess of 60°, stalled, and entered an uncontrolled descent.
The post-accident examination revealed no evidence of any pre-impact failure or malfunction.
Based on the witness reports of the airplane’s steep bank angle and sudden decrease in pitch attitude, it is likely the pilot inadvertently stalled the airplane during the base-to-final turn in the traffic pattern.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate airspeed and excessive bank angle while maneuvering for landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.
NTSB Identification: ERA11FA443
This August 2011 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.