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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 69481
Last updated: 17 March 2018
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C177 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 177 Cardinal
Owner/operator:David S. Bentley
Registration: N3431T
C/n / msn: 17700731
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:St. Croix -   U.S. Virgin Islands
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Christiansted, VI (TISX)
Destination airport:Charlotte Amali, VI (TIST)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot and a passenger, a perspective flight student, completed a preflight inspection of the airplane. Another passenger subsequently approached the airplane with two heavy bags. The first passenger put the larger bag in the baggage compartment, behind the rear seat. The second passenger then walked around the airplane and sat in the back seat with the smaller bag. During the takeoff, witnesses stated that the airplane appeared slow, with a nose-high pitch attitude, and an immediate dip of the right wing. They recalled the initial climb out was also low and slow. The tower controller asked the pilot if he was experiencing any difficulty, and the pilot responded that he was, and was going to turn back to the airport. A witness noted that the airplane appeared to be having difficulty gaining altitude, that the wings were moving up and down, and that the propeller was spinning. The airplane then made a sudden, sharp left turn and descended to the ground. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical anomalies. Damage was consistent with a left-turning stall/spin at impact. The airplane's observed nose-high attitude, and pitch trim found in the full nose-down position, indicated the likelihood that the airplane was loaded with an aft center of gravity.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin.


FAA register:

Revision history:

30-Oct-2009 00:20 Nikki Added
30-Oct-2009 14:38 angels one five Updated
30-Oct-2009 23:49 harro Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
02-Dec-2017 17:06 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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