Aircraft: Rans S-12. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Mesa, Ariz. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: According to witnesses on the ground, shortly after takeoff, when the airplane was about 200 to 300 feet above the ground, it made a sudden right turn and banked about 90°.
Some witnesses reported that they heard a reduction in engine power just before the right turn, followed by an increase in engine power.
During the turn, the airplane appeared to stall and enter a spin. The airplane crashed and caught fire.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering at low altitude shortly after takeoff.
NTSB Identification: WPR12LA152
This April 2012 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.