The pilot was conducting his first flight in the Rans S-12 XL, a two-seat experimental amateur-built airplane, from a turf runway in Cleveland, Ga. The non-certificated pilot/owner of the aircraft was in the right seat.
The pilot flying reported about 1,600 hours, with zero flight hours in make and model. In addition, he had not flown at all during the previous seven months.
The owner had accumulated about 30 hours in the accident airplane, although he did not possess an FAA certificate. He told investigators that he had seen the accident pilot flying other airplanes in the past and assumed he was capable of the flying the accident airplane.
The pilot flying reported that the airplane’s acceleration and takeoff were normal. He climbed to an altitude about 300 feet, then entered a left 180° turn.
During the turn, the airplane inadvertently stalled, and descended into a pond, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. Both occupants were uninjured.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering after takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of overall recent flight experience and lack of experience in make and model.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA250
This May 2013 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.