NTSB Identification: MIA97LA081.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 02, 1997 in ST. MARY'S, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna A150L, registration: N6005J
Injuries: 2 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.
The pilot intended to photograph his son's house. He descended to an altitude of 1000 feet AGL, circled the house, and upon seeing people come out of the house and seeing them wave he took a couple of pictures. The pilot stated that he slowed the airplane down to 'flap operating speed...[and] put in 10 degrees of flap.' He then increased power, trimmed the airplane for level flight and 'essentially hands off' control. He stated that he circled twice, took two pictures, and 'then decided to drop...a tennis ball I had previously made up for the purpose...I tossed out the tennis ball. I then reached down for the camera in my lap and looked through the view finder, but was unable to frame the picture...I placed the camera back on my lap, and heard a cough/stutter from the engine and experienced a power loss...I employed carb (sic) heat and advanced the throttle...I seem to recall a slight forward movement when the power loss occurred and then I seem to recall sliding back away from the dash. Then I seem to have lost control. I remember trying to the keep the wings level and I watched the trees coming at me...' Ground witnesses saw the airplane maneuvering at a low altitude, turning, and going nose low into the trees. In addition, the witnesses told investigators that they heard the sound of the engine until impact. Examination of the engine and the airframe did not reveal any discrepancies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in an inadvertent stall the at too low an altitude to allow recovery. A factor in this accident was the pilot's attention was diverted. Full narrative available
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