NTSB Identification: WPR11LA234
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 24, 2011 in Puyallup, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2011
Aircraft: HOSKINS ZENITH, registration: N34NH
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 reported that he conducted two uneventful landings on a paved runway then conducted circles above the traffic pattern to familiarize himself with the newly built airplane. During the third landing onto a grassy area parallel to the paved runway, the pilot approached the landing area between 32 and 35 mph with the flaps fully retracted. About 10 feet above the grass, the pilot felt that the airplane was a little high and fast so he reduced power and pitched the nose up to slow the airplane. The nose suddenly dropped. The nosewheel dug into the ground and the airplane nosed over, coming to a rest inverted and substantially damaging the rudder, firewall, and wing struts. The pilot’s total flight experience was approximately 7 hours in the airplane make and model, with 4 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations. During a telephone conversation, a representative of the manufacturer reported that the average approach speed for the airplane is between 45 and 50 mph, with a stall speed of about 35 mph with the flaps retracted.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed during landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience in the accident airplane.

Full narrative available

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