Saturday, January 29, 2022

Beech K35 Bonanza, N9530R: Fatal accident occurred January 29, 2022 at McNary Field Airport (KSLE), Marion County, Oregon

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon


Location: Salem, Oregon
Accident Number: WPR22FA087
Date and Time: January 29, 2022, 15:03 Local
Registration: N9530R
Aircraft: Beech K35 
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 29, 2022, about 1503 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft K35 Bonanza, N9530R, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident in, Salem, OR. The private pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to preliminary air traffic control (ATC) data, the airplane departed McNary Field Airport (SLE), Salem, Oregon, for a day visual flight rules (VFR) departure. The pilot requested to stay in the traffic pattern, and the tower controller informed the pilot to remain in left closed traffic and cleared the pilot for takeoff from runway 34. The pilot took off, remained in the traffic pattern, and was cleared to land runway 34. Witnesses stated that during the approach to land, the airplane crossed the runway threshold and continued to descend. Before touching down on the runway, the airplane suddenly veered to the left and simultaneously entered a near vertical climb. The airplane rolled to the left, and subsequently entered a near vertical descent. The airplane impacted the ground, in a near vertical pitch attitude. 

The airplane wreckage was located in the grass infield adjacent to runway 34. The airplane’s left wing impacted the ground about 17 ft west of the asphalt runway. Shards of the airplane’s red position light lens cap were found in the grass and marked the initial point of impact. The main wreckage came to rest about 32 ft west of the runway.

The engine compartment and the instrument panel remained attached to the airplane by the lower fuselage skin just aft of the firewall, and by avionics wires and flight control cables. The left side of the empennage revealed impact compression signatures emanating from top to bottom, just aft of the rear window. Both wings sustained substantial damage from wingtip to wing root.

The airplane has been recovered to a wreckage facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N9530R
Model/Series: K35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSLE,201 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:56 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C /1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Salem, OR 
Destination: Salem, OR

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 44.904994,-122.99854 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

55 comments:

  1. KSLE is correct airport identifier

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    1. METAR:
      KSLE 292256Z 05003KT 10SM CLR 09/01 A3023

      Track (Leg 2 for the day):
      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=ad4234&lat=44.904&lon=-123.025&zoom=13.1&showTrace=2022-01-29&leg=2&trackLabels

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    2. Based on that ADS-B track, this looks to be a botched go-around. On the second pass, the aircraft was slightly higher and got very slow and pulled to the left in the final couple ADS-B returns. If you jam the throttle forward and get too nose high and slow during your go around and fail to counter the engine torque and p-factor with enough right rudder, you are going to have a bad time.

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    3. Only one pattern. The first pattern was a XC from TTD. So far the second one has 85 knots through short final. The go-around scenario might be a good guess, but it was from a very low altitude and it begs the question why not just continue to the landing. The crash is some distance from the treshold.

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  2. Sad loss of life. Hard to tell but, from the pictures the damage doesn’t look that bad. No fire, stall and flat spin?

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    1. From the pictures, a quick assumption would be it hit nose down hard and maybe the left wing first, as there is more outboard damage to it. So possibly a stall and dive?

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    2. "Flat spin"???? LOL, good luck getting into a flat spin from 50 feet above the runway. No, this was a messed up go around, which torque rolled the aircraft to the left and led to a stall. It probably looked a lot like the recent crash of Skyhawk N8074E at Old Bridge airport, except in this case the Bonanza is much heavier with a higher stall speed, which leads to crashes that have much higher impact forces and are not very survivable.

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    3. not a flat spin based on the damage to the nose and the leading edges of the wings. Classic stall with major impact damage, though...

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    4. Full resolution photo shows that flattened leading edge all across both wings very well when zoomed:

      https://mazama.imgix.net/salemreporter/images/9333/1643585526.jpg

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    5. "uncorrected for 30.23 altimeter"...

      If only there was some sort of math we could do to correct for that altimeter setting.... ;)

      Allow me to assist. 30.23 - 29.92 = 0.31 * 1000 = 310 feet, so adding that to 25 MSL uncorrected is 335 feet.
      The threshold elevation of runway 34 is 211 feet, so the aircraft was approximately 125 AGL climbing to 150 AGL when it veered left and crashed.

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    6. No flat spin, wrong terminology since it takes lots of altitude to develop before you can call it that.

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    7. I was about 1000 ft away when the crash happened and heard it, but did not see it happen, though certainly saw the aftermath. You could hear a plane approaching with engine throttled back for landing, then about 2 to 4 seconds of full throttle, then a huge crash, then total silence. We grabbed a first aid kit and went running.

      I already gave this report to the officers on scene.

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  3. Some interesting history - Pilot had a landing mishap in 1996 while in his C172 N7849G. Third attempt to land in crosswinds, bounced twice, attempted go around, hit hangar 185 feet from runway.

    The 172's registration was issued to the pilot in May 1993. At the time of the 1996 accident, the pilot had 222 total hours PIC, 178 hours in 172's. N7849G remained registered to the pilot until it was was de-registered in 2002.

    N7849G report:
    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/42387/pdf

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    1. Interesting. The pilot was also apparently "flying dirty" (expired medical) at the time of the first accident. If it's the same DANIEL JOSEPH MCKENNA of Boring, Oregon in the Airmen registry, it shows:
      Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
      Date of Issue: 8/25/2010
      Ratings:
      PRIVATE PILOT
      AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND

      Not sure why his PP ASEL cert would show issued on 2010, if he was also presumably flying on that same cert at the time of the 1996 accident and didn't add any additional ratings to it. Maybe it got revoked after the first accident?

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    2. Re-issued PP certificate in 2010 likely due to making the same address change associated with registering the Bo to a P.O.Box instead of continuing to use a street address like N7849G registration had.

      No obvious explanation for N7849G's 2002 de-registration. Wasn't exported and doesn't have a 2002 accident report.

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    3. Local news article from 1996:

      https://nuggetnews.com/Content/Current-News/Current-News/Article/Couple-walks-away-from-plane-span-style-font-weight-bold-crash-span-in-Sisters/5/5/10087?s=1

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  4. There is a single ground scar close to the 34 runway threshold. The two main gear are intact, so the scar was probably caused by a collapsed nose gear. Sounds like a botched landing where the nose gear touched down first, collapsed, and the plane departed the runway to the left. The substantial damage to the cockpit indicates that the plane nosed into the ground at high speed, crushing the cockpit and rotating the plane 180 degrees.

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    1. That theory is not supported by the ADS-B data, which shows the pilot was around 100 AGL both shortly before crossing the runway threshold and also around the 1000 foot markers shortly before the track veered left. The ground scar in the photos above is more likely from the wing impacting the ground.

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    2. Can't get that severe crush and flattened leading edge without near straight down impact. Look back thru comments and notice that the last ADS-B altitudes reported directly over the impact location represent 100+ feet AGL.

      That near-camera ground scar is the imprint of contact by the full width of the left wing, big hole is where the engine hit. The torque induced turn that shows up in ADS-B brought it around to the left before plunging down and making that set of imprints.

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    3. ADS-B data does not go down to ground level - just look at their previous flight into KSLE. Also, the photos show both wings exhibiting the same damage level, inconsistent with a single wingtip strike. Additionally, the ground scar ends at the nose, not the wingtip.

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    4. I do not believe the ground scar was made by the nose wheel. It was made by the left wingtip. The crater at the end of the scar was made by the nose of the aircraft when inertia caused the fuselage to rotate laterally. What was left of the aircraft at that point somehow flipped around to face the ground scar. Also note the fuselage behind the cabin is crushed upward, apparently when the tail it the ground first after the flip.

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    5. @flyguy, adding to the other comment above, the ADS-B data shows the Nanza was around 100 AGL shortly before crossing the runway threshold and also was at 100 AGL around the 1000 foot markers. Sure, even if you say ADS-B data doesn't go to the ground, for your theory to be correct, that means the Nanza descended from 100 AGL above the threshold, hit the runway and collapsed the gear, and then somehow climbed back up to 100 AGL again at the 1000 foot markers, and then turned left and crashed. Sorry, not possible and not backed up by any of the evidence.

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    6. Given the eyewitness reports of a hammerhead stall it is clear that my theory is wrong. Still, the ADSB transmissions terminate at some point before touching down. The first flight, which landed, shows this. I see this happening routinely at airports like KSEA.

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  5. All speculation, wait until the NTSB comes out with their report. What the pilot
    did before with his 172 has nothing to do with this accident. The controllers in the tower most likely saw the entire scenario and will inform the FAA and NTSB what they observed and a conclusion will be made.

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    1. What the pilot did before has EVERYTHING to do with his final flight - a fatal crash. He was sloppy in the cockpit.

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    2. Speculation is of great value! That's why the NTSB and FAA come here daily to read it all.

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    3. The pilot as quoted after that 1996 'incident' :

      "Incidents happen. That is part of flying. If I was in the same situation again I would handle it the same way. This is not going to scare me out of aviation," McKenna said.

      May be indicative of a mindset prone to repetition of past mistakes.

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  6. I witnessed this crash from the south end of runway 34. Just a layperson, but the plane hadn't touched down yet when I was watching. I saw the nose lift slightly and thought the pilot had changed his mind. Then a slight veering left and an almost vertical climb and a sudden left turn and then nose down straight into the ground. A bit of a bounce or flop down. No smoke, no fire. Awful to witness.

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    1. You should probably contact the NTSB and tell them about it!

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    2. Emailed them with basic info. Response was that they'd get back to me if needed.

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    3. You just described a classic stall. And your "vertical climb" statement indicates it could have been a situation where he was trimmed for landing but throttled up for some reason - with full flaps, that would cause the nose to go vertical.

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  7. As a former Bonanza owner/pilot I wonder how he could have muffed such an easy landing in the first place. He had no business flying (a Bonanza).

    Whoever issued his endorsements should be subject to an FAA review.

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    1. He owned it for over 10 years. Lots of August, Sept, Oct flights show up in Adsbexchange, with pattern work on 9/16, 17, 21, 29, 30, 10/01, 03, 04, leading to a two-week touring trip starting 10/06 to southeast USA and back.

      Maybe the accident day pattern work was informal training of right seater to accomplish basics of how to land in case he were to become incapacitated someday.

      Came in high, turned into a go around. Botching a "my airplane" takeback with a throwover yoke could easily account for the observed result.

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    2. Do you know every detail of the pilots story to come to the determination that “He had no business flying (a Bonanza)?”

      If so, please share, and if not your opinion based comment holds no constructive value.

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    3. ^Snarky remark. Something tells me you knew the deceased pilot and can't deal with any sort of negativity about your friend McKenna. He was a menace to other aviators.

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    4. "Whoever issued his endorsements should be subject to an FAA review."

      What a ridiculous statement. You really think a CFI can somehow divine if a pilot will one day mess up a landing years in the future? It wasn't like he got the endorsement a week before the accident. Did you say the same thing about “Snort” Snodgrass's accident - that someone who would "muff" such a simple takeoff has no business flying a Marchetti? Yeah, I didn't think so.

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    5. "...how he could have muffed such an easy landing"...
      I have over 1100 hours in a K35 - it can be real easy to do if someone's not on top of it all the way to the pavement.

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  8. "Do you know every detail of the pilots story to come to the determination that “He had no business flying (a Bonanza)?”

    The facts speak for themselves. He botched the go-around.


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    1. That complaint someone made that the "no business" remark holds no constructive value could have easily been given a response that no pilot would consider unfair or controversial:

      "He had no business flying if the 1996 accident created such fear of go-arounds that he hadn't practiced going around in the Bonanza."

      At the moment, pattern work visible in ADS-B history on 9/16, 17, 21, 29, 30, 10/01, 03, 04 hasn't been evaluated for clues that would inform whether go arounds were included, but hyped criticism to generate maximum view count on youtube doesn't care about that.

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    2. If making a mistake on a go-around means you have no business flying, then the majority of pilots out there have no business flying. If you think every one of your go-arounds in your pilot career are perfect, you either are fooling yourself or you never practice go arounds.

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    3. The "majority of pilots" do not stall and crash their planes doing a go-around. This guy exhibited abysmal airmanship, even if he was letting his non-pilot wife practice a landing.

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    4. So "Flyguy" would you also say that the legendary Dale Snort Snodgrass was an abysmal airman because he stalled and crashed his airplane on takeoff? Accidents happen even to the best of us. There are a number of possible causes that have nothing to do with airmanship.

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    5. You clowns dishonor the tens of thousands who have braved aviation. I once didn't look closely in the rearview mirror and missed a lane changing SUV. Stuff happens.

      Our cars were totaled and I am the idiot.

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  9. It’s a shame two wonderful human beings had to die in what should have been a preventable accident. In a past life, I investigated at least a dozen similar accidents—most involved fatalities. In each accident the culprit was the proverbial “bounced” (porpoised) landing followed by another then followed by another ricochet into the air only this time with full power application as a means to get out of the unsavory actions initiated by the pilot.
    Once power was applied the pilot was at the mercy of his/her past training. The poorly trained usually were along for the ride—a stall/mush quickly followed by a yaw/roll leading to a pitch down and ground collision. The extent of collision damage was usually dependent upon altitude gained during the pitch up maneuver before the stall-mush/yaw/roil and pitch down.
    When instructing pre-solo students two “maneuvers” that were always emphasized was the recovery from a bad landing (clean and dirty configuration) and go around. Before conducting training along the runway, these maneuvers were accomplished at altitude. During this phase of training the student pilot was shown the consequences of improper piloting techniques in both. This usually caught their attention and helped cement the seriousness of proper piloting techniques.
    In each of the botched landing-go around landing accidents I investigated I went back to the pilot’s primary training and flight review records. In EVERY case I never saw one entry in their logbook/record related to training in recovery from bad landings OR go arounds from a landing flare or approach; OR the maneuvers checked during a flight review.
    During one investigation of a fatal go-around accident, I asked the pilot’s instructor if he had ever taught recovery from a bad landing or go around maneuvers to the now dead pilot. The instructor replied, “No, I never did.” When asked why, the instructor replied, “Those are dangerous maneuvers to teach; I don’t teach that stuff.“
    The Bonanza’s deceased pilot is reportedly supposed to have had a similar accident in a Cessna 172 back in the late 90’s with no injuries. Interesting side note if correct.
    The kinds of accidents suggest a lack of primary flight training and flight review examination action.
    These kinds of repetitive accidents also suggest our instructional industry is a bit lax in training. Recovery from a bad landing and go-arounds from a flare or approach should be something that’s drilled into pre-solo candidates until they can perform these
    “maneuvers” in a knowledgeable and skillful manner, without any coaching. Proper and consistent training/checking is vitally important. These should be examined on any flight check.
    These kinds of accidents are still happening to good folks. Where’s the system failure? Fingers are sort of pointing to training, a lack thereof.
    Can the best trained pilot get themselves into one of these accidents? Yup, it’s called human error for whatever reason applied. However, in the ones I investigated I never found a trained/skilled pilot who allowed themselves to end up a statistic.

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  10. I have a hard time believing there are CFIs out there that never teach their students go arounds because they are "dangerous maneuvers to teach." Go arounds are a required part of the private pilot ACS, so if there are CFIs out there that aren't teaching them and DPEs that aren't testing them on checkrides, there needs to be some certs pulled:

    Task N. Go-Around/Rejected Landing
    References FAA-H-8083-3, FAA-H-8083-23; POH/AFM; AIM
    Objective
    To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a go-around/rejected landing with emphasis on factors that contribute to landing conditions that may require a go-around.

    Risk Management The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess and mitigate risks, encompassing:
    PA.IV.N.R1 Delayed recognition of the need for a go-around/rejected landing.
    PA.IV.N.R2 Delayed performance of a go-around at low altitude.
    PA.IV.N.R3 Improper application of power.
    PA.IV.N.R4 Improper airplane configuration.
    PA.IV.N.R5 Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, wires, vehicles, vessels, persons, and wildlife.
    PA.IV.N.R6 Low altitude maneuvering including stall, spin, or CFIT.
    PA.IV.N.R7 Distractions, loss of situational awareness, or improper task management.

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    1. Understand. The accidents referred to occurred during the late 90's.

      I too found it incredible the CFI didn't teach those. I also found it incredible that most CFI's instructionally related to an approach or landing accident being investigated, fatal or otherwise, never taught the use of 'key position' on base leg, the use of an 'aiming point' during final approach and visual cues to use for the round out and flare to touch down.

      I've read a number of NTSB reports related to landing accidents since leaving the Agency and have been surprised to note very few investigators dug into the accident pilot's previous training.

      Most CFI's know what's to be taught per FAA requirements. Problem is, some do not and there's even DPE's who may presume a bit too much, allowing the applicant to slip through the cracks without checking critical flight regime actions.

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  11. A possible scenario is a seat track latch failure. Full power at lower airspeed, nose pitches up, pilot slides back, tries to pull himself forward holding the yoke, nose pitches further up into a stall, rolls left, impact. All over in about 10 seconds.

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    1. Wasn't aware the Bonanza had that problem... some Cessna's, yes, but most of those have been remedied. I had that happen to me in a C-206 just as I entered a 400-foot overcast. Luckily, my scrambling in the cockpit saved our backsides as we existed the clouds in a steep descent.

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    2. This is not an issue in the Bonanza's

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  12. When will the FAA put cameras on the runways????? Unbelievable....They are so cheap, heck a doorbell camera is good enough from other accidents they recorded...

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    1. You really want a bunch of big brother g-men from the FAA watching your every move at the airport? Privacy is already pretty much dead thanks to ADS-B.

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    2. Pretty cameras are all over the place, airports seem to be the only place they are not..runways anyway..

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  13. I have flown and owned a K model for over 41years so I know its handling characteristics. In a normal landing with full flaps and trimmed for an approach, a sudden full power go around will put rearward pressure on the yoke until everything is cleaned up. It is possible the yoke slipped out of the pilot's hand or, more unlikely, he was not aware of the rearward force that has to be anticipated and accounted for with immediate counter force. The yoke will slam back. Either way, that would account for the sudden vertical departure, stall and crash. I consider the need for a firm gripe in every such situation knowing what is coming. This case is what I expect would happen.

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