NTSB Identification: BFO91FA060.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50119.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 29, 1991 in BERLIN, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/1993
Aircraft: PIPER J5, registration: N763WM
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 AIRPLANE WAS ON A BANNER TOWING FLIGHT WHEN IT CRASHED DURING A BANNER PICKUP ATTEMPT. WITNESSES REPORTED THE PILOT TOOKOFF FROM THE AIRFIELD, CIRCLED THE FIELD AND THEN DESCENDED TOWARD THE BANNER STAGING AREA WHICH WAS AT ABOUT MIDFIELD. ACCORDING TO A WITNESS, THE BANNER WAS PICKED UP AND THE AIRPLANE CLIMBED. IT APPEARED THE AIRPLANE WOULD NOT OUTCLIMB A WOODED AREA AT THE END OF THE AIRFIELD. THE BANNER DROPPED FROM THE AIRPLANE AND SOON AFTERWARDS THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED IN A SPIN TO THE GROUND. THE EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE DID NOT DISCLOSE EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL FAILURE NOR EVIDENCE OF BANNER ENTANGLEMENT WITH THE RUDDER OR ELEVATOR.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQATE AIRSPEED WHICH CAUSED THE AIRPLANE TO STALL.

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