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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA17FA123
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 08, 2017 in Apex, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2018
Aircraft: JORDAN BRUCE C PITTS S2E, registration: N30BJ
Injuries: 1 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 pilot was returning to the airport from a local personal flight in the airplane. The airplane approached runway 9 at an angle before rolling inverted, descending, and impacting terrain, consistent with an aerodynamic stall. A review of weather conditions revealed that, on final approach, the airplane likely experienced a tailwind of about 9 knots with wind gusts as high as 20 knots. Pilots familiar with the airport reported that, due to the slope of the runway, pilots preferred to land on runway 9 unless there was a tailwind of more than 10 knots. Postaccident examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operations. It is likely that, while maneuvering on final approach to the runway with a gusting tailwind, the pilot failed to maintain control of the airplane, which resulted in the exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during the final approach to the runway in gusting tailwind conditions, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.