The pilot was participating in an ash spreading ceremony and planned to do a low pass over the runway at the airport in Reidsville, N.C.
As the Aeronca 7BCM approached 50 feet above ground level and 70 knots, the pilot reported that the bag containing the ashes began to break and he “momentarily” let go of the flight controls.
Subsequently, the airplane descended, hit the runway, and bounced back into the air.
During the bounce, the pilot regained control and landed straight ahead, but the left main landing gear collapsed on the touchdown.
The airplane veered off the runway to the left and skidded to a stop.
A pos-taccident examination of the airframe revealed substantial damage to the firewall.
Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of pitch control while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in a collision with terrain, a left main landing gear collapse, and runway excursion.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA082
This December 2015 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.