Aircraft: Piper Comanche. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Camas, Wash. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot’s most recent third-class medical certificate was issued July 28, 2010. At the time, he reported a total flight time of 4,000 hours.
A pilot-rated witness reported watching the Comanche join what appeared to be the left downwind leg of the pattern at an altitude of 2,000 feet AGL. The plane banked left and continued in a descending left turn until it crashed in up-sloping terrain about a mile northeast of the airport.
The wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with a loss of control followed by a steep-angle descent before hitting terrain.
The post-accident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering in the traffic pattern.
NTSB Identification: WPR11FA367
This August 2011 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.