NTSB Identification: SEA00LA158.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 13, 2000 in PAULINA, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Maule M-5-235, registration: N6269M
Injuries: 2 Minor.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
While maneuvering to look at potential game hunting sites in mountainous/hilly terrain, the pilot spotted a herd of deer. He then executed a turn in order to head back toward the location where he had seen the herd. During the turn, he realized he was approaching terrain that was rising faster than he had expected. He therefore added full power and attempted to maneuver away from some trees that he was not sure he was going to be able to clear. While maneuvering to miss the trees, he noticed that the airspeed was '...too low (42-44 knots).' Before the pilot was able to take further action, the left wing dropped and the aircraft impacted the terrain while still at full power. Density altitude at the accident location was approximately 7,000 feet.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain an airspeed above stalling speed (Vs), which resulted in a stall/mush into the terrain. Factors include mountainous/hilly terrain, tall trees, a high density altitude, and the pilot's diverted attention as he attempted to keep a herd of deer in sight while maneuvering. Full narrative available
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