Departure stall for Piper

Aircraft: Piper Super Cub. Injuries: 2 Minor. Location: Elizabethton, Tenn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, the preflight inspection and engine run-up were normal. The pilot used a short-field technique for takeoff and entered a steep climb.

He then pushed forward on the stick to lower the nose for straight and level flight. The airplane then began to sink. The pilot pushed the control stick more forward to gain airspeed and ensured that the engine was at full power. The left wing dipped, followed by the right wing. The pilot applied full left rudder and full left aileron, and the right wing started to recover, however, there was insufficient altitude and the airplane hit the ground.

According to witnesses on the ground, the airplane climbed out with a 45° nose-high attitude and appeared to struggle to gain airspeed as it climbed to about 100 feet above ground level.

Probable cause: The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA015

This October 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.



  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    a few lessons in leaving the nice thing called ground effect and transitioning to the real need of lift would have kept that good old Cub climbing fairly steep. been there, done that
    65 years ago

  2. Robert Cpne says

    Another case of spending valuable resources on a useless medical certificate and foregoing some pretty basic training on how to fly an airplane without a departure stall. Get rid of the medical certification and require some real flight training, we will see the number of GA accidents resulting from less than strong flying skills drop. And, insurance rates will drop. For FAA has not produced any evidence that medical certification reduces accidents, training will reduce accidents.

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