[Editor’s Note: We received this info in our inbox. Thank you. This North Carolina Wing plane crash was the result of CAP pilot error.]
On September 10, 2002, Civil Air Patrol members David Gamble, of the 141st Search and Rescue Composite Squadron, and Ben Blankenship, of the Winston-Salem Composite Squadron were flying the CAP’s North Carolina Wing Group Three Cessna 172 [N62602] on a routine proficiency flight near the Twin Lakes Airport in Winston-Salem, NC, when the aircraft crashed.
Employees and spectators at the Twin Lakes airport witnessed the accident and rushed to the scene to assist. The fuel source was cut off and the battery was disconnected. The NTSB arrived on the crash site and conducted the official investigation. Members of the Winston-Salem Composite Squadron conducted crash site security.
Both of the Civil Air Patrol officers were injured and were transported to the Winston-Salem Baptist Hospital for treatment.
Witnesses said the aircraft clipped the tree-tops on take-off from the airport and crashed at the departure end of runway #9.
The pilot was conducting touch and go landings when on the accident landing, the airplane touched down about two-third down the runway. On the go phase of the touch and go maneuver, the pilot established a nose high attitude followed by a right descending roll followed by the subsequent collision with trees. The airplane rested on the ground in a nose low attitude. No mechanical problems were reported by the pilot prior to the accident.
NTSB Probable Cause & Findings:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed during the takeoff and initial climb which resulted in an inadvertent stall and the subsequent collision with trees.