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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN17FA080
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, January 21, 2017 in Wellington, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/2018
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N91Z
Injuries: 2 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 commercial pilot was taking his cousin for an airplane ride. During takeoff, the airplane remained in ground effect until it reached a point near or past the departure end of the runway, and then it entered a right climbing turn. At an altitude of about 100 to 150 ft above ground level, the airplane entered a left turn with a bank angle that increased to about 80° to 90° before the airplane descended and impacted the ground. Wreckage distribution and ground scarring were consistent with a nose-down, low-speed, impact. It is likely that the excessive left bank angle resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall at an altitude too low for recovery. Postaccident examination of the engine and airframe revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal airplane operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's improper decision to perform a steep turn at low altitude, which resulted in exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.