Loss of control Accident CZAW SportCruiser N524SC, Monday 21 December 2009
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Date:Monday 21 December 2009
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CZAW SportCruiser
Owner/operator:Tidewater Flight Center
Registration: N524SC
MSN: 07SC020
Total airframe hrs:868 hours
Engine model:Rotax 912 ULS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Great Dismal Swamp near Lake Drummond, VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Chesapeake, VA (CPK)
Destination airport:Chesapeake, VA (CPK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The recently certificated pilot was receiving a check-out in the light sport airplane. He was performing slow-flight maneuvers, and because the airplane was already configured, the instructor suggested he perform a power-off stall. The pilot reduced power to idle, and as the airspeed decreased, he increased the pitch attitude to induce a stall. At the onset of the stall, the pilot added power, the airplane yawed left, and “snapped" into a tight spin to the left. The instructor announced that she had the flight controls, and the pilot released them. The instructor verbalized her spin recovery control inputs as she performed them, but the airplane continued to spin and lose altitude. The airplane eventually stopped spinning, and during the post-spin dive recovery, the airplane struck trees and terrain, and came to rest inverted.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the airplane's airspeed indicator's color code range markings were inaccurate and did not agree with the information published in the supplied airplane manufacturer's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH). Depending on the configuration of the airplane, the difference between the published indicated airspeed and the published calibrated airspeeds was as much as 20 knots. The indicated airspeed is an important value for the pilot as it directly indicates stall speed and various airframe structurally limited speeds, regardless of density altitude. If the pilot is receiving inaccurate information from the airspeed indicator, the airplane may stall at a higher airspeed than the pilot is anticipating.

The airplane also experienced a previous accident in which the improperly marked airspeed indicator contributed to the accident. While the airplane manufacturer agreed to make changes to the POH after that accident, those changes were not complete and the accident report was not published prior to this accident.
Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate recovery from a stall and inadvertent spin. Contributing to the accident was the improperly marked airspeed indicator and the airplane manufacturer's improper airspeed information. Also contributing was the instructor's inadequate supervision of the pilot.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA10LA098
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

23 December 2008 N524SC Tidewater Flight Center 0 Emporia, Virginia sub
Loss of control


Revision history:

21-Dec-2009 13:55 RobertMB Added
21-Dec-2009 19:53 RobertMB Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 17:59 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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