This February 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: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Reidsville, Ga. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was practicing power-off stalls in the landing configuration. The airplane was configured with 30° of flaps when it stalled. The pilot attempted to recover by adding full power and leveling the nose. The airplane went sideways and entered a spin. The pilot did not immediately reduce power, and the airplane’s speed increased as it descended. Upon recovering from the spin, the airspeed was over 120 knots and the flaps were still deployed. Maximum flaps extended speed for the Cessna 172 is 85 knots. As the pilot retracted the flaps he heard a creaking noise. After landing it was determined that the wings and flaps were damaged.
Probable cause: The failure to maintain control of the airplane during an attempted recovery from a stall/spin.
For more information: NTSB.gov