NTSB Identification: ERA11FA332
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 09, 2011 in Vero Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N48869
Injuries: 2 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.

The flight departed on a visual flight rules personal flight and did not return to the operator’s home base at its scheduled time. The operator began calling other airports trying to locate the airplane and cell phone companies in an attempt to locate the pilot by her cell phone. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an Alert Notice; after several hours of searching the wreckage was located. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Review of radar data revealed that in the last few minutes of flight the airplane made several maneuvering turns. The reason the pilot chose to maneuver in that location is unknown. The final maneuvers included a 70-degree right turn to a heading of 180 degrees. About 2 minutes later, the airplane made a 360-degree left turn, and radar contact was lost. The radar data was consistent with cruise speed throughout the flight, except for the last return, which indicated that the airplane had slowed significantly. Postaccident wreckage signatures were consistent with a spinning descent and impact, indicating that the airplane likely entered an aerodynamic stall from which the pilot did not recover.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent spin.

Full narrative available

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