The pilot performed a practice candy drop pass over a field near Montville, Maine, about 300 feet above the ground.
During the climbing 30º banked right turn to circle back to the field, he “neglected the airspeed” and the Cessna 172 aerodynamically stalled. As it descended, it struck trees and then hit the ground inverted.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and empennage.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain the proper airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during a low-altitude climbing turn, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.
This July 2019 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.