NTSB Identification: LAX05FA035.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 16, 2004 in Drake, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 337B, registration: N133JW
Injuries: 3 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 twin-engine airplane impacted terrain while performing a low altitude maneuvering turn. The pilot had been taking hunters on elk scouting flights for a number of days prior to the accident. These flights were conducted below 500 feet above ground level (agl) in the same general area that the accident occurred. A videotape of the airplane on a previous scouting trip shows it flying slightly above the horizon with the landing gear extended over the local desert terrain and ridges. The first identifiable point of impact contained green glass fragments from the right wing position light. The right main landing gear strut was separate from the main wreckage, in the debris field, indicating it was probably deployed, and the flap jackscrew corresponded to a 10-degree flap position. This flight configuration is consistent with the observed configuration of the airplane during previous scouting flights. A handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver recovered at the accident site recorded the airplane's flight path leading up to the accident. The ground track and speeds recorded by the GPS has the airplane entering a left-hand turn at 70 kts. Halfway through the turn the speed bled down to 59 kts. According to the airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook, a level 30-degree angle of bank turn with the landing gear deployed and the flaps at 8 degrees, the airplane will stall at 66 kts. While in a left-hand turn the airplane experienced an accelerated stall, entered an uncontrolled descent in which the pilot did not have enough altitude to recover from, and impacted terrain in a right wing down attitude. Examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of a preimpact malfunction or failure of the control system, or power plants.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed above stall speed while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an accelerated stall and spin. A factor in the accident was the pilot's performance of maneuvering flight at an altitude insufficient to allow for recovery from an accelerated stall.

Full narrative available

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