NTSB Identification: ERA11FA463
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 17, 2011 in Ransom Township, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/15/2012
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.

The non-certificated pilot/owner of the airplane was conducting his first flight in the airplane since he purchased it almost 2 years earlier. Witnesses observed the airplane flying erratically as it maneuvered around several fields that surrounded the accident site. They reported hearing varying sounds associated with low and high engine rpm. The airplane subsequently impacted in an area of 50- to 70-foot-tall trees located on a hill about 1 mile north-northeast of the pilot's residence. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any abnormalities that would have precluded normal operation. Five days before the accident, the pilot received 1 hour of dual flight instruction in a Cessna 172. The flight instructor reported that the pilot told him that he had not flown in over 20 years and wanted to “brush-up” on his flying skills. The instructor noted that the pilot flew poorly and, at the conclusion of the flight, specifically informed him that he was not ready to fly solo and that he should obtain additional training.

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

The non-certificated pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering, which resulted in a collision with trees and terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of overall flight experience and lack of experience in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

Full narrative available

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