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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA16CA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 13, 2015 in Reidsville, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/14/2016
Aircraft: AERONCA 7BCM, registration: N1316V
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.

The pilot reported that he was participating in an ash spreading ceremony and planned to do a low pass over the runway. As the airplane approached 50 feet above ground level and 70 knots, the pilot reported that the bag containing the ashes began to break and he "momentarily" let go of the flight controls. Subsequently, the airplane descended, impacted the runway, and bounced back into the air. During the bounce, the pilot regained control and landed straight ahead, but the left main landing gear collapsed on the touchdown. The airplane veered off the runway to the left and skidded to a stop. A postaccident examination of the airframe revealed substantial damage to the firewall.

The pilot reported that there were no 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 as follows:
  • The pilot's loss of pitch control while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in a collision with terrain, a left main landing gear collapse, and runway excursion.