NTSB Identification: LAX04LA240.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Peoria, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235, registration: N4602Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The tow plane stalled and impacted terrain following a nose high pitch excursion during a tow operation. The glider pilot, who was being towed at the time, reported experiencing a normal takeoff until about 100-150 feet above the ground. The tow plane then began to out climb the glider and slack developed in the tow line. The glider pilot released from the tow when she realized that while trying to chase the tow plane, the glider was nearing a stall speed. Witnesses to the accident observed the tow plane pitch nose high twice before it stalled and spun to the right. One of the witnesses was another pilot who flew the accident airplane on 12 previous flights that day. He reported observing no problems with the airplane during his flights that would have prevented its normal operation. Additional witnesses reported hearing a normal engine noise throughout the event. Post accident examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies that would have affected its flying abilities. Toxicological tests of samples from the pilot revealed the presence of phentermine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine. Phentermine is a prescription stimulant drug; ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are components of over the counter compounds and have stimulant properties.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain a proper pitch attitude during tow operations and his failure to maintain an adequate airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin.

Full narrative available

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