This October 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.
Location: Halifax, Va.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot, who was also the airplane’s builder, was attempting to land at his private 1,300-foot airstrip. He felt that his approach speed was too high so he elected to abort the landing. He applied full power and pitched the nose up to establish a climb. The electronic propeller control sensed an overboost condition and automatically reduced the engine power.
As a result of the power reduction, there was not sufficient power to maintain altitude. The pilot pulled the nose up to avoid trees at the departure end of the runway. The airplane got too slow and stalled. There was not sufficient altitude to recover and the airplane came down in trees.
The pilot told investigators he had forgotten to place the electronic propeller control switch to the manual mode when he applied full power in the go-around. As a result the propeller control incorrectly interpreted the increase in power as an overspeed condition and reduced engine power, which led to the stall.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadvertent stall during an attempted go-around. A contributing factor was the pilot’s failure to place the electronic prop controller in the manual mode prior to initiating a go-around, which resulted in a loss of engine power.
For more information: NTSB.gov