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N2009B accident description

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Crash location 39.562778°N, 76.205000°W
Nearest city Churchville, MD
39.561219°N, 76.245512°W
2.2 miles away
Tail number N2009B
Accident date 29 May 2015
Aircraft type Luscombe 8A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 29, 2015, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe 8A, N2009B, impacted terrain prior to the runway at Harford County Airport (0W3), Churchville, Maryland. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, vertical stabilizer, and fuselage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to two witnesses, the airplane flew over the south side of the airport and "sounded like" it lost engine power. The airplane was observed descending on a right downwind leg for runway 19 and continued to descend while on the right base leg of the traffic pattern. The witness then lost sight of the airplane.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the pilot stated that while descending on approach to runway 19, he decreased the engine power and turned onto the final leg of the traffic pattern. He reduced the mixture, the airplane lost total engine power, the pilot could not regain engine power, and the airplane "entered a stall" prior to impacting the ground.

During the accident sequence, the airplane impacted terrain prior to runway 19, nosed over, and came to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the wing spar and fuselage.

A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident that would have precluded normal operation.

Despite multiple attempts, a completed Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report (NTSB form 6120.1/2) was not received for this accident.

According to the engine operator's manual, "the mixture control must be in 'FULL RICH' during descent."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's improper reduction of the fuel mixture while the airplane was descending on the final leg of the traffic pattern, which resulted in a total loss of engine power and subsequent aerodynamic stall.

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