September 17, 2011, Greenville, Maine, Cessna 172M Skyhawk


At about 0813 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain following a loss of control while maneuvering. The solo private pilot was fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to witnesses, the airplane was observed circling at low altitude. During the third and last circle, the airplane was observed to pitch nose-up, decelerate, then pitch nose-down steeply and descend towards the ground. The airplane then rotated to the left with its nose still pointed down, turned approximately 180 degrees from its original direction of travel and disappeared from view. Moments later the sound of an impact was heard.


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