NTSB Identification: MIA94LA195.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 14, 1994 in MERRITT ISLAND, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/27/1995
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7GCAA, registration: N9669S
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

AFTER TAKEOFF THE PILOT THREW THE TOPE ROPE OUT OF THE COCKPIT AND IT BECAME WRAPPED AROUND THE LEFT RUDDER HORN. THE PILOT PICKED UP THE BANNER AND BECAUSE OF THE POSITION OF THE TOPE ROPE, THE TRAILING EDGE OF THE RUDDER BECAME FULLY DEFLECTED TO THE RIGHT. THE PILOT TURNED RIGHT CROSSWIND, DOWNWIND, AND BASE. WHEN THE FLIGHT WAS ABOUT 1/4 MILE NORTHWEST OF THE AIRPORT, THE AIRPLANE STALLED SPUN 1/2 TURN TO THE RIGHT AND COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA. ACCORDING TO THE OWNER OF THE OPERATION, A MIRROR IS INSTALLED ON THE LEFT WING STRUT TO VIEW THE TOW ROPE AT THE 'D' RING TO VERIFY THAT THE TOW ROPE ISN'T WRAPPED AROUND THE RUDDER HORN. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO RELEASE THE BANNER.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO VISUALLY VERIFY THAT THE TOW ROPE WAS NOT WRAPPED AROUND ANY FLIGHT CONTROL SURFACE AND THE INADVERTENT STALL/SPIN. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE ENTANGLEMENT OF THE TOW EQUIPMENT WITH THE RUDDER HORN, RUDDER MOVEMENT WAS RESTRICTED DUE TO FULL DEFLECTION, AND INABILITY OF THE PILOT TO RELEASE THE BANNER.

Full narrative available

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