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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17FA005
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 04, 2016 in Hitchcock, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/13/2017
Aircraft: BEECH D95A, registration: N76S
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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.

A flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction departed on the accident flight to practice aerodynamic stalls in the multiengine airplane. After the accident, the pilot recalled that the instructor initiated an aerodynamic stall maneuver about 4,000 ft mean sea level, then recalled the instructor "cursing" the airplane when it would not recover from the stall. The pilot could not recall any further details of the accident flight. A witness about one 1 mile south of the accident site saw the airplane descending in a fully- developed right spin. Data retrieved from an onboard GPS unit revealed that the airplane entered a climb from about 4,000 ft, reaching a peak altitude of about 4,800 ft. The airplane then immediately entered a descent that continued until the end of the recorded data. Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Review of the flight instructor's logbooks indicated that he had accumulated over 9,800 total hours of flight experience, with over 4,600 hours in multiengine airplanes; however, he had only accumulated 16 hours in the 11 years before the accident. He had logged about 11 hours in the accident airplane, of which about 6 hours were as a flight instructor, all within the previous two months. His logbooks did not indicate that he had previously practiced aerodynamic stalls in the accident airplane; therefore, he was likely unfamiliar with the airplane's stall characteristics.

Following a series of fatal accidents in Beech Baron/Travel Air airplanes between 1978 and 1980, the National Transportation Safety Board issued safety recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration, stating that these airplanes have a propensity for entering flat spins under high asymmetric power and low speed conditions; such conditions are frequently encountered during multiengine emergency (engine-out) training. It is likely that, while demonstrating aerodynamic stalls, the airplane entered a spin from which the flight instructor was unable to recover.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The flight instructor's loss of control during an aerodynamic stall demonstration, which resulted in an inadvertent spin from which he was unable to recover. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's lack of familiarity with the airplane's stall characteristics.