NTSB Identification: MIA97FA014.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 27, 1996 in SMITHVILLE, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1997
Aircraft: Bellanca 14-13-2, registration: N74306
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.

The flight departed on runway 24, and shortly after crossing the end of the runway, the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot transmitted on the unicom frequency that he had a problem and was turning back. The aircraft was observed at about 200 feet agl in a steep left bank. After reaching a northeasterly heading, the nose and left wing of the aircraft dropped, and the aircraft descended nose first into a wooded area where it crashed. A postcrash fire erupted and consumed the fuselage and left wing. Postcrash examination of the aircraft showed no evidence of pre-crash mechanical failure or malfunction of the aircraft structure or flight control system. Examination of the engine and propeller showed the wooden propeller blades had no rotational damage. No evidence of pre-crash mechanical failure of the engine was found. The pilot did not have a current FAA medical certificate or current biennial flight review. The aircraft last received an annual inspection on 6/12/94.

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

loss of engine power for undetermined reason(s), shortly after takeoff; and failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed, while turning in an attempt to maneuver back to the airport, which resulted in an inadvertent stall and uncontrolled descent into wooded terrain. The pilot's attempt to return to the departure airport was a probable factor.

Full narrative available

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