The commercial pilot was taking his cousin for a ride in the Bellanca 7GCBC.
During takeoff at the airport in Wellington, Texas, the plane remained in ground effect until it reached a point near or past the departure end of the runway, and then it entered a right climbing turn.
At an altitude of about 100′ to 150′ above ground level, the plane entered a left turn with a bank angle that increased to about 80° to 90° before it descended and hit the ground. Both the pilot and passenger died in the crash.
Wreckage distribution and ground scarring were consistent with a nose-down, low-speed, impact.
It is likely that the excessive left bank angle resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall at an altitude too low for recovery.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper decision to perform a steep turn at low altitude, which resulted in exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.
NTSB Identification: CEN17FA080
This January 2017 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.