Loss of control Accident Piper PA-25-260 Pawnee N254AB,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 169409
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Date:Sunday 31 August 2014
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA25 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-25-260 Pawnee
Owner/operator:Advertising Air Force
Registration: N254AB
MSN: 25-7556048
Year of manufacture:1974
Total airframe hrs:1651 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-540-G1A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:South of Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), St Petersburg, Florida -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Banner and glider towing
Departure airport:St. Petersburg, FL (SPG)
Destination airport:St. Petersburg, FL (SPG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
During a banner-tow pickup, the commercial pilot reported to the tower controller that the banner-tow rope had become entangled in the rudder and that he needed to release the rope. According to witnesses, after picking up the banner, the airplane made a sharp left turn and then spiraled into the water. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the banner-tow rope had become entangled between the left elevator and horizontal stabilizer.
A review of the company training manual noted that the banner-tow rope must remain taught before the pilot deploys the hook or the rope to prevent the entanglement of the hook or rope in the tail control surfaces and restriction of movement. A review of GPS data showed that the airplane made an immediate right turn to pick up the banner while the pilot was deploying the hook. It is likely that the pilot’s improper deployment of the hook while simultaneously turning the airplane caused the entanglement of the tow rope in the elevator.
Probable Cause: The pilot's improper deployment of the banner-tow hook, which resulted in it becoming entangled between the left elevator and horizontal stabilizer, restricted the movement of the elevator, and led to a loss of airplane control.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA14FA416
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
12 August 2010 N254AB Aerial Banners Inc 0 St. Petersburg, FL sub
Fuel exhaustion
22 December 2017 N454AB 0 Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, FL unk
25 May 2023 N454AB Aerial Banners North Inc 0 Hollywood-North Perry Airport (HWO/KHWO), North Perry, FL sub


Revision history:

31-Aug-2014 20:42 gerard57 Added
31-Aug-2014 21:05 Aerossurance Updated [Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative]
01-Sep-2014 07:01 RyanVHS Updated [Aircraft type, Operator]
01-Sep-2014 07:01 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
01-Sep-2014 16:54 Aerossurance Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
02-Sep-2014 15:45 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Phase, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
30-Nov-2017 19:00 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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