During the pilot’s third flight in the aircraft that day, cruising at about 1,500 ft agl over a wind farm, the engine shuddered and the propeller stopped turning. The pilot, who was very familiar with the area and knew which fields were most suitable for a forced landing, chose one he had just passed on his right. During the turn the pilot was mindful of the bank angle which he kept to about 15°, and airspeed which he noted was about 100 mph and well in excess of the straight and level stall speed of 56 mph. However, at about 400 ft agl above a wooded area, the aircraft stalled and dropped the right wing. It spun, nose-down, through about 270° into the trees near the edge of the wooded area. Both of the aircraft’s g-meters recorded a peak deceleration of -10g. The pilot, who was wearing a full harness and helmet, was uninjured and exited the open cockpit unaided.
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Published 13 September 2018