This July 2008 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: Socata TBM700. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Kennesaw, Ga. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The pilot, who had logged 975 hours, including 44 in the accident airplane, was attempting to land at a towered airport. When the airplane was on a three mile final the controller instructed the pilot to initiate “S” turns. The pilot initiated the turn to the left, and after turning back to the right towards the runway to complete the other half of the turn, the controller advised the pilot that he did not need to finish the maneuver, and could turn onto final approach. The last recorded ground speed was 89 knots and witnesses stated that the airplane seemed to do a wing over onto its back and go straight down. Flight simulation tests revealed that ,while making a steep turn and not adding power, as the bank angle increased the airspeed would decrease and the airplane would enter an aerodynamic stall.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during final approach, resulting in an aerodynamic stall.
For more information: NTSB.gov