This September 2007 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: Cessna 150.
Location: Hazelton, Pa.
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The purpose of the flight was to search the airport for a windsock that detached from its mount due to strong winds earlier in the week. The pilot had logged at least 661 hours, but his time in a Cessna 150 could not be determined because his logbook was damaged in the accident. A commercial pilot watched the accident flight from takeoff to ground contact. He told investigators that the airplane departed to the west, climbed to 200 feet, and then maneuvered back and forth over the airport “low and slow” before it entered a tight, steep, low-speed left bank that the witness estimated was greater than 45°. While in the turn, the left wing dropped, the plane dove to the ground and burst into flames. The witness told inspectors that it sounded as if the engine was operating normally all the way to the ground.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude.
For more information: NTSB.gov