Witnesses observed the Howard DGA 15P touch down left of the runway centerline in gusting crosswind conditions and then attempt to go-around.
As the engine noise increased, the airplane yawed 90° left and banked left, perpendicular to the runway. The airplane’s nose pitched up, and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall and rolled inverted before hitting a ravine about 400′ left of the runway at the airport in Monongahela, Pennsylvania. The pilot died in the crash.
Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
The airplane was equipped with a 450-hp radial engine. It is likely that, upon application of engine power to initiate the go-around, the pilot failed to adequately compensate for the extreme left-turning tendencies of the high-powered engine, which resulted in a subsequent loss of control and aerodynamic stall.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during an attempted go-around in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in an exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall.
NTSB Identification: ERA17FA153
This April 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.