NTSB Identification: LAX07CA187.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 03, 2007 in Winston, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Aviat Husky A1-B, registration: N246AM
Injuries: 2 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 stalled and impacted terrain during flight in a canyon at low altitude and a slow airspeed. The pilot was participating in a mountain flying seminar and was flying with a CFI. The purpose of the flight was instructional in nature intending to practice short canyon turns. They flew the first canyon at 300 feet agl, 70 mph, 20 degrees of flaps, along the south side of the canyon, and rode a few thermals. Identifying areas where thermal lift could be found was part of the instructional flight. He then crossed into another canyon that was full of burned out terrain and dead fall trees. This canyon he flew at 300 to 350 feet agl, 60 to 65 mph, and full flaps. The pilot angled his plane towards a rock cliff expecting to pickup thermal lift from the warm rocks. He flew with the wing tip about 10 feet from the cliff. The climb stopped, the airspeed fell off, and the wing stalled. He turned left, applied full throttle, and lowered the nose of the airplane. The descent was rapid as he tried to direct the airplane between deadfall trees into a drainage gully. The airplane's descent continued and he tried to land the airplane as gently as he could. After the collision with the sloped terrain, both pilots egressed the airplane just before it was engulfed in flames. The pilot stated that the airplane and engine had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.
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 at low altitude in a canyon that led to a stall. The pilot's decision to fly along the canyon wall at a low altitude and low energy state was a factor. Full narrative available
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