This January 2009 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: Nanching CJ-6. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Justin, Texas. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The 2,500-hour pilot was leading a three-ship formation to the destination airport. While in pattern to land, the airplane made a very steep right turn that immediately turned to a near vertical nose-down descent. The plane crashed and burst into flames.
At the time of the accident, the winds were from 40° from runway heading at 10 knots gusting to 19 knots. The investigation could not determine if the wind conditions contributed to the pilot’s decision to use a steeper-than-normal bank angle. FAA Advisory Circular 61-67C informs pilots that accelerated stalls can occur at higher-than-normal airspeed if there are abrupt and/or excessive control inputs such as during steep turns. An examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal any pre-impact anomalies.
Probable cause: The failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering on approach, which resulted in an accelerated stall and subsequent loss of control.
For more information: NTSB.gov