NTSB Identification: MIA01LA175.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 24, 2001 in Rupert, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2002
Aircraft: Bucker-Jungmann Aero Z-131, registration: N4842
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The accident pilot preflighted the airplane which had about 1/4 to 1/3 fuel capacity. The wind was from the west-northwest at 5-10 miles per hour (mph); the flight towing a glider departed from the westerly oriented runway. The glider pilot stated that after liftoff the tow pilot remained in ground effect and the tow plane drifted over to the left side of the runway and hit the top of a small scrub oak that was about 15ft high and 1000 ft before the end of the runway. The glider pilot also stated that the accident pilot set up a normal climb attitude and about 70 mph to about 250 feet above ground level (agl). At that point, "...we encountered heavy sink/downdraft, with some turbulence which suddenly dropped us about 100ft. Noting this condition, I released the tow rope from the glider and terminated the tow. At this time, I heard the Bucker's engine running and it sounded strong. I then turned right and [the towplane] continued to drift and turn slightly left which is also where a line of about 100ft pine trees are located about 1000ft from the end of the runway." The glider pilot also stated, "About 10 seconds later, I saw that [the towplane] was still in a climb attitude and in sink. I saw him appear to release the rope from the Bucker and then clip the top of the tallest tree. He then seemed to snap roll to the left and into the ground." Examination of the airplane at the accident site by an FAA inspector revealed no evidence of flight control preimpact failure or malfunction. The airplane was recovered and a replacement propeller was installed for the engine run. The engine started and was operated to an estimated 1,000 rpm but could not accelerate; impact damage was noted to the servo fuel injector (servo). Bench testing of the servo revealed no discrepancies related to fuel flow.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in a stall.

Full narrative available

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