NTSB Identification: CHI96FA237.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 13, 1996 in ROSELLE, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N25JP
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After making a banner pick-up, the pilot reported that he was having a rudder problem and that the airplane had a propensity to turn to the left. The pilot was able to maneuver the airplane back over the runway. According to a witness, the pilot initiated a go-around, when the airplane was 5 to 10 feet above the runway. The airplane entered a climbing left turn with the banner still attached. The airplane then stalled and impacted terrain south of the airport. Investigation revealed evidence that the tow line had become entangled on the right rudder horn, which resulted in the diminished aircraft control.

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

the pilot's improper decision to perform a go-around, while there was restricted rudder movement and the banner was still attached to the airplane, which resulted in a loss of airspeed and an inadvertent stall. Factors relating to the accident were: the banner tow line becoming entangled on the rudder horn, and the pilot's inability (or failure) to jettison the banner.

Full narrative available

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