NTSB Identification: CEN10LA514
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 02, 2010 in Boone, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 150L, registration: N10128
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 pilot conducted a downwind takeoff on the local banner-tow flight. The airplane subsequently picked up the banner on a downwind low approach. A witness reported that the engine sounded normal. An eyewitness reported the airplane was not gaining much altitude and that the banner was very close to being dragged in crops on departure. A witness near the accident site said that the banner got caught in the corn while the airplane was maneuvering. Another witness saw the banner separate from the airplane before the airplane banked and went into a dive. The pilot was trained in and endorsed for banner towing operations and emergencies. However, his logbook did not contain an endorsement for a flight review. The local wind was 11 knots gusting to 20 knots. A wreckage examination revealed no preimpact anomalies. The propeller blades exhibited chordwise abrasion and leading edge nicks consistent with an engine producing power at the time of impact. A global positioning system unit showed that, after the airplane picked up the banner, it made a tight downwind turn to the left and headed northeast during its climbout. The data showed the airplane then turned to the south and subsequently descended.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control while performing low-level banner towing operations with a gusting wind.

Full narrative available

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