This May 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: Beech 95. Injuries: 5 Fatal. Location: Minden, Nev. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot, 58, who had logged more than 4,700 hours, operated an aircraft sales company and flew almost every day. He also held A&P and IA certificates. Witnesses reported that the pilot had taken four friends that were part of an outdoor work group on a local flight. The airplane made two to three low passes over the group. On the final pass, the airplane was slightly above the tops of houses, between 100 and 300 feet above ground level. Witnesses stated that the airplane then made a sudden steep climbing left turn that approached 90° angle of bank, appeared to decelerate at the top of the climbing turn, then dropped towards the ground nose first. The witnesses noted that the engines could be heard throughout the maneuver.
Post-accident examination of the airplane did not find any mechanical issues. Recovered GPS data indicated that the airplane was traveling from northeast to southwest at 120 knots.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering during a low altitude maneuver that resulted in a stall.
For more information: NTSB.Gov