NTSB Identification: LAX90FA250.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43458.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 11, 1990 in PLEASANT VALLEY, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/14/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-25-235, registration: N6763Z
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 OBSERVED THAT THE TOW PLANE WAS DIRTY SO HE WASHED IT. THE PILOT FAILED TO SECURE THE TWO ENGINE COWL DOORS. DURING INITIAL CLIMB, WITH A GLIDER IN TOW, THE DOORS BEGAN FLOPPING UP AND DOWN. THE GLIDER PILOT OBSERVED THE MISHAP, RELEASED THE TOW LINE AND SAFELY LANDED. THE TOW PLANE PILOT REVERSED COURSE TO RETURN FOR LANDING. THE WITNESSES REPORTED THAT WHILE REVERSING COURSE THE AIRPLANE'S PITCH ATTITUDE STEEPENED. THE AIRPLANE STALLED AND SPUN UNTIL CRASHING ON DESERT TERRAIN ADJACENT TO THE AIRSTRIP.

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

AN INADVERTENT SPIN AFTER FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRSPEED. FACTORS INCLUDE INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT, AND AN IMPROPERLY MAINTAINED LAP BELT.

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