NTSB Identification: NYC02FA138.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 13, 2002 in Matawan, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Yakovlev YAK 52, registration: N69GC
Injuries: 2 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 reported that there were no discrepancies during the taxi, run-up, and takeoff roll. The airplane initially climbed approximately 20 degrees nose-up, and began to bank left. About 200 feet above the ground, the pilot and passenger heard a "bang," and the airplane continued to roll left. The airplane then spun to the right, and impacted a wooded area in a nose-down attitude. Examination of the wreckage revealed that a portion of the wooden propeller was almost entirely embedded in an approximate 3-inch diameter tree branch. The number nine front spark plug was found ejected from the engine. A burned torch mark was present on the underside of the cowling, in the vicinity of the number nine cylinder. Additionally, three other spark plugs were found loose in their cylinders. Review of maintenance records revealed that an annual inspection was performed on the airplane about 1 month prior to the accident. During the inspection, the spark plugs were cleaned, gapped, and rotated. Since the inspection, the airplane had flown approximately 30 minutes. The emergency procedures checklist, for the same make and model as accident airplane, included setting a descent attitude following an engine failure. Review of FAA publications regarding accelerated maneuver stalls, revealed that an airplane will stall at a higher indicated airspeed when excessive maneuvering loads are imposed by steep turns, pullups, or other abrupt changes in flightpath.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's excessive maneuvering and failure to maintain aircraft control, following a partial power loss during the initial climb, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. A factor in the accident was an inadequate annual condition inspection performed by the certificated mechanic.
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