NTSB Identification: IAD00FA038.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 17, 2000 in NORFOLK, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N3813M
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 pilot was making a second attempt to pick up a banner, and approached the two banner poles and catch rope at a low altitude. Prior to flying between the poles, the engine sounds were heard to increase. When the airplane flew over the catch rope, another increase in engine sounds was heard, and the airplane flew upwards. After the last increase in engine sounds, the engine sounds decreased, followed by two surges of the engine. The airplane descended to the ground in an approximate 45 degree nose down attitude and struck the ground. Prior to contacting the ground, one last surge of the engine was heard. The fuel tanks contained fuel which was absent of debris, and no obstructions were found in the fuel system. Examination of the wreckage revealed the altimeter, tachometer, and vertical speed indicators were not connected to their respective hose and cables. The knurled fitting that attached the tachometer cable to the tachometer was found unscrewed, and the threads were undamaged. Examination of the engine revealed there were no mechanical deficiencies. The carburetor heat handle was found in the off position, and an icing probability chart indicated the conditions were conducive for serious icing in cruise flight.

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

The loss of power for undetermined reasons, which resulted in an inadvertent stall during at banner pick-up.

Full narrative available

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