NTSB Identification: CEN13FA045
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 04, 2012 in Gothenburg, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N8375G
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 student pilot was conducting a solo instructional flight in the airport traffic area at the time of the accident. A pilot entering the traffic pattern at the time that the accident pilot was conducting takeoffs and landings reported that, during the accident pilot’s third landing, the accident airplane was “extremely low,” not more than 200 feet above ground level (agl), on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. He noted that the normal pattern altitude was 800 feet agl. He stated that the accident pilot subsequently landed and took off again and that he observed the accident airplane on initial climb after takeoff and beginning to turn to the crosswind leg, but that he did not observe the remainder of the accident pilot’s flight in the traffic pattern or the accident sequence. There were no other witnesses. The student pilot was approaching for a fourth landing when the accident occurred; the airplane came to rest inverted short of the runway threshold. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any evidence of a preimpact failure or malfunction that would have precluded normal operation. The damage to the nose of the airplane is consistent with a high-impact angle of about 45 degrees. The high-impact angle and lack of significant ground travel after impact is consistent with a loss of control precipitated by an inadvertent aerodynamic stall.

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

The student pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed on final approach, which resulted in an inadvertent aerodynamic stall and subsequent impact with terrain.

Full narrative available

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