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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17LA001
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 01, 2016 in Jennings, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/25/2018
Aircraft: DRAKE KITFOX SPEEDSTER, registration: N157D
Injuries: 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 private pilot stated that, during the initial climb after takeoff, he checked the airspeed and lowered the airplane’s nose. He reported that the airplane rolled to the right, which he corrected, then the airplane “abruptly” rolled to the left. He was unable to correct the roll, and the airplane descended and impacted terrain. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airplane. A witness reported that the airplane was airborne in a wings level, “very high” nose-up attitude when he first saw it. He stated that, after a few seconds, the left wing and the nose dropped. Shortly after that, the right wing dropped, the nose-down attitude increased, and the airplane impacted terrain. A video of the accident corroborated the witness account. The witness’s recollection of the accident, along with the video of the accident airplane just before the accident, suggest that the pilot exceeded the airplane’s critical angle of attack during the initial climb, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed during takeoff, which resulted in an exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack and subsequent aerodynamic stall.