NTSB Identification: LAX02FA227.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 13, 2002 in Hana, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N306DJ
Injuries: 4 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 crashed into a densely forested grove of Eucalyptus trees, in a near vertical nose down attitude. There were no witnesses to the accident. Family members indicated that the flight was to be a tour of the northeast coasts of the Molokai and Maui islands. The flight was to return by 1700 for a family function. The pilot also intended to view some recently purchased property near the accident site. An aerial survey of the accident site revealed no damage to the surrounding treetops in the Eucalyptus grove. The fuselage was uniformly crushed from the nose past the aft bulkhead area. Measured crush lines located on the fuselage near the doorframe and right main landing gear strut, and the top portion of the doorframe/fuselage spar area, revealed an 80-degree crush angle to the longitudinal axis of the airplane. Adjacent to the left wing was a large Eucalyptus tree. Multiple sections of tree bark had separated from the tree starting at a height of about 75 feet and culminating at the base of the tree. The left wing had a semicircular impact mark about midspan of the wing, with a brown color transfer similar to the Eucalyptus tree. The leading edge of the wing also had a small tree limb embedded in the impacted area of the left wing. The engine was buried about 12 inches into the ground at a near vertical angle. No discrepancies were found with either the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in a stall.

Full narrative available

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