NTSB Identification: CEN12CA030
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 17, 2011 in Covington, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N2401E
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Following a local banner towing flight, the pilot returned to the airport to drop the banner. With the flaps extended 10 degrees, the pilot maneuvered the airplane about 200 feet above the runway and slowed to an airspeed of 60 knots. After attempting to release the banner, the pilot added full engine power and felt a surge or deceleration from the engine. As the pilot reached down and pulled the banner release handle a second time, thinking the banner had not released, the airplane’s left wing and nose dropped. The pilot was able to recover to a level attitude; however, before the descent could be arrested, the airplane impacted the ground and nosed over. The airplane’s left wing and fuselage sustained substantial damage during the impact. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane 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 during a banner drop, resulting in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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