NTSB Identification: ATL07CA061.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 24, 2007 in Morganton, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Harrison Robert J. Longez, registration: N17XZ
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The airplane collided with trees short of the runway. According to the pilot, following a few touch and gos, he left the pattern for about 40 minutes and returned to the airport. Upon arrival at the airport he entered a right downwind pattern about 2000 feet msl for runway 21. He stated that the downwind was normal and once he was abeam the numbers he turned base and "believed the final leg was a bit longer then usual". He stated that as he got close to the runway he was low and increased the throttle to full power, "I seemed to drop precipitously and the tips of the trees seemed level with my wheels. At that time the right wing seemed to hit something and somehow I was on the ground". He stated that the last airspeed he was aware of was 85-90 miles per hour. He said that he shut the engine off, and got out of the airplane, walked about 20 feet and sat down. According to a witness, he observed the airplane in what appeared to be a normal approach to landing on runway 21, at an altitude of 200 feet. The witness stated that he was located in front of a large corporate hangar and the airplane was approximately 1/2 mile away. He said he observed the right wing drop sharply with a noticeable decrease in altitude followed by recovery, then a second drop of the right wing more severe this time and the airplane dropped completely below the tree line. The witness stated that he heard the application of full engine power followed by a single loud impact then almost immediately the sound of several impacts mixed with the "unmistakable sound of multiple propeller strikes" then silence. The witness stated that he located the wreckage at a distance of approximately 200 yards off the approach end of the runway. The witness stated that it took several minutes to reach the airplane and at that point he found the pilot outside the airplane, standing by the left wing, appearing confused. The witness stated that the pilot told him that "I'm okay, I just got too slow and stalled it." There were no mechanical problems reported by the pilot or discovered during the post-accident examination of the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed that resulted in an inadvertent stall, and subsequent inflight collision with trees and the ground. Full narrative available
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