Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary ERA23LA020

New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA

Aircraft #1




The private pilot stated that he did not perform weight and balance calculations prior to the flight in the airplane but did perform an engine run-up before departure with no issues noted. During takeoff he applied full power and rotated, initially climbing to between 20 and 30 ft above ground level. At that altitude the airplane stopped climbing and was not accelerating. He reported that while airborne with 800 ft of runway remaining, the airplane “stalled” and impacted the ground. He reported to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that there wasn’t anything mechanically wrong with the airplane and that the engine was producing power during the entire event. Postaccident examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the left wing was substantially damaged. The inspector also noted evidence of binding of the left aileron, but that was attributed to be associated with impact damage to the wing. There were no other issues noted with the flight controls. Postaccident calculations revealed that for the accident flight the airplane was likely at least 24 pounds above the maximum specified gross weight of 2,250 pounds. Although the pilot initially reported the altitude loss was associated with a wind shift, according review of weather data for the time and location of the accident revealed that there were no large fronts or boundaries in the area. Further, there was no wind above 10 knots until above 10,000 ft mean seal level, there were no AIRMETS for turbulence, and the wind at multiple nearby airports was from did not exceed a velocity of about 8 knots. Given all available information, it is most likely that the pilot exceeded the airplane’s critical angle-of-attack during the takeoff, which resulted in a stall/mush during the takeoff.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot’s exceedance of the critical angle of attack during takeoff and corresponding stall/mush. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s operation of the airplane above the maximum specified gross weight.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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