According to the pilot, he was conducting a low reconnaissance flight over a mountain ridgeline near Arctic Village, Alaska, to determine its suitability as an off-airport landing site.
He told investigators he was not paying attention to the Piper PA22’s airspeed as he completed the fly-over and approached rising terrain. In an effort to avoid the rising terrain, he initiated a go-around by applying full power and starting a left turn, but the right wing stalled and struck terrain.
The airplane cartwheeled, sustaining substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. The pilot suffered minor injuries in the crash.
The pilot stated there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering to avoid mountainous terrain, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.
This August 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.