The sport pilot of the Avid Mark IV, an experimental, amateur-built, light-sport airplane, performed a takeoff and initiated a steep, left crosswind turn to avoid horses off the end of the runway.
About 300′ above the ground, he smelled “burning wires” and thought he saw a “wisp of smoke.”
The engine “sputtered then died.” The left wing stalled, the airplane rolled inverted, and entered a downward spiral. The airplane collided with trees and terrain near Minneola, Florida, before coming to rest, inverted, in a grassy field.
Examination of the airframe and engine found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction that would have prevented normal operation.
The pilot received his sport pilot certificate about four months before the accident and had accumulated about 120 hours of total flight time at the time of the accident.
It is likely that, following the total loss of engine power, he failed to reduce the airplane’s angle of attack either sufficiently or quickly enough to prevent an aerodynamic stall/spin.
Probable cause: A total loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during the crosswind turn, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin.
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA086
This January 2016 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.