Monday, February 29, 2016

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, Vector Aviation LLC, N516TG: Accident occurred February 21, 2016 in Willoughby, Lake County, Ohio

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA139 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 21, 2016 in Willoughby, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N516TG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor reported that the student pilot was briefed on the procedure for an engine failure after takeoff and that the student pilot had performed the maneuver previously with another flight instructor. The student pilot performed a short field takeoff, and after rotation and the retraction of the flaps at about 200 feet above ground level, the throttle was retarded to idle to simulate an engine failure. He reported that the student pilot was instructed to lower the nose of the airplane, which he brought to a "level pitch attitude." The flight instructor reported that the student was again instructed to lower the nose of the airplane as the airspeed was about 55 knots as "I applied forward pressure to the yoke."

The flight instructor reported that the sink rate "remained high" and he "moved the airplane to a flare attitude for landing" and applied full throttle. He reported that the airplane "touched down hard in a slightly tail low attitude" and the nose wheel "struck the runway hard." The flight instructor continued with the landing and taxied without further incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall and rudder. 

The flight instructor verified that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

As a safety recommendation, the flight instructor stated "demonstration of the maneuver by the flight instructor prior to allowing the student to perform the maneuver."

The Federal Aviation Administration has published FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook (2004). This handbook discusses engine failure procedures and states in part:

"In the event of an engine failure on initial climb-out, the pilot's first responsibility is to maintain aircraft control. At a climb pitch attitude without power, the airplane will be at or near a stalling angle of attack. At the same time, the pilot may still be holding right rudder. It is essential the pilot immediately lower the pitch attitude to prevent a stall and possible spin. The pilot should establish a controlled glide toward a plausible landing area (preferably straight ahead on the remaining runway)."

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot's failure to reduce pitch attitude during a simulated engine failure during takeoff initial climb, resulting in a high descent rate and hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's delayed remedial action during the simulated engine failure.


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Cleveland FSDO-25

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