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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA15LA231
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 02, 2015 in Siler City, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2018
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N985K
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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 purpose of the accident flight was to reposition the accident airplane in order to have maintenance performed on its alternator. The accident pilot planned to fly with the airplane's landing gear extended for the duration of the flight and used a handheld radio for communications, presumably because of the intermittent or non-functional state of the alternator. Another pilot, who was flying in his own airplane, accompanied the accident flight, and they arrived in the vicinity of the destination airport about the same time. As the accident pilot maneuvered his airplane to land, the accompanying pilot watched as the accident airplane flew a downwind traffic pattern leg very close to the runway, then entered a "tight" base-to-final turn. The airplane subsequently entered what the accompanying pilot described as an accelerated aerodynamic stall and descended in a nose-down attitude toward the ground. The airplane impacted trees and terrain about 500 ft short of the runway threshold. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures, with the exception of the alternator, which failed a diagnostic test run.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack while maneuvering for landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.