NTSB Identification: WPR10FA325
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 01, 2010 in Venice, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N94838
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.

During the takeoff climb following a touch-and-go landing, the pilot communicated with a tower controller that he needed to return to the airport for landing, but did not indicate the type of problem. Witnesses observed the airplane make a 90-degree left turn and enter into a spiraling nose-dive before losing sight of it behind a tree line. The airplane subsequently impacted a copse of trees on a golf course. During the on-scene inspection, investigators identified all major flight controls of the airplane at the main wreckage area, and the smell of fuel was present at the accident site. The propeller separated from the propeller hub assembly and came to rest just forward of the main wreckage. One propeller blade had chordwise scratching with leading edge gouging; the other propeller blade was relatively undamaged. Both wings remained in their normal relative position and attached to the fuselage. The empennage section was twisted and folded over to the right. The tail section separated from the empennage, but remained attached via its control cables. All flight controls remained connected on site. The operator reported no mechanical problems in the weeks between the annual/100-hour inspections and the date of the accident. During the reconstruction investigators found no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and airplane control during initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin and subsequent impact with the ground.

Full narrative available

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