In a telephone interview with the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge, the pilot stated that, during the initial climb after an aerial pickup of a banner at the airport in Boulder City, Nevada, the towline became entangled with the Stinson’s right horizontal stabilizer and the right elevator.
Subsequently the airplane pitched down, hit the ground, and nosed over.
A post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the right-wing lift strut and the empennage. The pilot received minor injuries in the crash.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
After multiple requests, the pilot did not return the NTSB Form 6120.1 Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to ensure that the aerial pickup towline was not entangled around the horizontal stabilizer after the banner pickup.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA033
This October 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.