The pilot reported that, during the initial climb after takeoff in the Mini Max 1200, he noticed the controls were “loose and sloppy.” He decided to return to the airport in Batesville, Indiana, and land.
During the turn back to the airport, the plane’s nose dropped, and the pilot increased back pressure on the control stick with little effect.
The plane descended into a wooded terrain about 1/4-mile northwest of the airport, resulting in substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
The pilot was likely unfamiliar with the airplane’s handling characteristics, as he stated that he had not received any flight training specific to the airplane.
It is likely that, during the turn, the nose dropped due an aerodynamic stall. The pilot increasing back pressure on the control stick exacerbated the stall by further decreasing the airspeed and increasing the angle of attack.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to depart without obtaining flight training in the airplane.
NTSB Identification: GAA16LA329
This June 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.