NTSB Identification: LAX01FA198.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 03, 2001 in Tulare, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/07/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 150L, registration: N10531
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 departed Visalia, California, approximately 0945, for the 10-mile flight to Mefford Field. The flight purpose was to practice takeoffs and landings on the student's eighth solo flight. Two witnesses were at the Farm Exposition grounds, located adjacent to, and at the departure end, of runway 31 at Mefford Field. They noticed that the wing flaps were extended to what was believed to be the full down position. They saw the airplane climb straight out until it reached what was estimated to be 200 to 250 feet above the ground. One witness noticed the airplane begin a turn to the left, in a westerly direction, and saw the nose come up to a higher attitude. He remarked that the airplane was going to stall. Shortly thereafter, the witness saw the airplane snap to the left, make one complete rotation to the left, with the left wing slightly lower of the right, and disappear behind some buildings. The second witness, who is a certificated pilot, was conversing with the first witness. He turned to speak to the first witness, who remarked, "It's going to stall." When he turned back to look, the airplane had disappeared behind the buildings. During the post crash examination of the wreckage, the flap jackscrew actuator was measured. It was extended 5.9 inches, which indicates a flap position of 40 degrees down. The cockpit flap switch was operated, and the switch locked in the up position when activated. The flap fuse was removed and tested. It was shown that the fuse had continuity. Power was applied to the wing flap motor using a 12-volt battery and electrical leads. The motor ran and moved the wing flap jackscrew throughout its range of motion in both directions. The flight instructor who had completed all of the pilot's training was interviewed. The instructor stated he had verbally restricted the student to make full stop landings only, for this particular flight. The instructor did not include this restriction on the solo endorsement. It was not determined if the student had done a full stop, touch-and-go, or a go-around.

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

The student's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the crosswind climb that resulted in a stall/spin at low altitude and the airplane's subsequent ground impact. A factor was the student's failure to retract the wing flaps.

Full narrative available

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