The pilot and passenger were returning home after attending a fly-in at another airport. The passenger reported that, during the descent to land, the pilot spotted a boat on the lake near Frankston, Texas, and began to follow it at low altitude.
The pilot then made a steep turn, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.
The pilot then lost control, and the airplane subsequently hit the water, resulting in one serious injury and one minor injury.
The pilot and passenger were rescued by nearby boaters. The airplane wreckage was not recovered from the water.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle-of-attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to make a steep turn at low altitude.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA342
This July 2014 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.