NTSB Identification: SEA97LA104.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 10, 1997 in MITCHELL, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna T188C, registration: N3152J
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

While the pilot was on the ground surveying area of land that he intended on spraying, the airplane was loaded with a pesticide in preparation for an aerial application flight. The pilot then boarded, started, and taxied the airplane for takeoff with no problems noted. He took off to the east, leveled off between 25 and 50 feet above the ground, commenced a steep bank turn to the left, flew over a target field located adjacent to the airstrip, and continued to bank steeply toward the west. The airplane aerodynamically stalled while in a steep turn and suddenly descended into terrain in a steep nose-down attitude. Most of the witnesses did not perceive any unusual engine noises prior to impact. The airstrip was surrounded by rising terrain. The flaps were in the fully retracted position. An examination of the engine, airframe, and systems did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical deficiencies, except for the seat restrain systems. The shoulder harness belt, which was original equipment, was severely deteriorated and had failed during the impact. No evidence of pilot incapacitation was found.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which led to a stall. A factor contributing to the accident was the lack of adequate altitude to effect a successful stall recovery.

Full narrative available

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