NTSB Identification: MIA03FA077.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 18, 2003 in Pahokee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Champion Aeronca 7BCM, registration: N2517E
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 airline transport rated pilot was maneuvering the airplane at low altitude over a sugar cane field for the purpose of scaring birds out of the field. Two witnesses observed the airplane make a low pass over the field to the west then start a steep climbing right turn to the northwest. According to one witness, as the airplane "was about to turn back into the field it was obvious he was in trouble (did not have enough room to recover) not sure if engine quit or he killed the power to recover." The witness said he saw the airplane "stall" and impact the ground. The other witness reported that the airplane was turning, "did not pull up" and hit the ground "at about 30 degrees from vertical." The witnesses indicated that the wind was from the west, and the airplane was turning from upwind to downwind when the accident occurred. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a nose low attitude with little forward speed. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed, resulting in an inadvertent stall while maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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