Friday, June 9, 2017

Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk, N2452C, operated by American Flight Academy: Fatal accident occurred February 22, 2017 in East Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Location: East Haven, CT
Accident Number: ERA17FA112
Date & Time: 02/22/2017, 0956 EST
Registration: N2452C
Aircraft: PIPER PA38
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis 

The flight instructor and the student pilot were practicing touch-and-go landings in the airplane. During the initial climb after the fourth landing, the flight instructor reported an emergency to air traffic control and indicated that he was going to return and land on a runway at the airport. During that transmission, a stall warning horn was sounding. The airplane then spun to the left and descended to impact in a marsh.

The damage to the airplane was consistent with the airplane being in a left spin at impact, and the propeller displayed little damage, which is consistent with the engine not producing power at impact. The fuel selector handle was found positioned to the right main fuel tank; however, examination of the fuel selector's polymeric insert revealed that it had fractured and was in a position that provided openings of about 20% for the right main fuel tank inlet and for the engine outlet, instead of the 100% openings that would have been present with an intact polymeric insert. With only 20% of the normal fuel flow available, the airplane likely experienced a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. One of the pilots likely switched fuel tank positions during the previous touch-and-go landing, and the polymeric insert failed at that time. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any other preimpact mechanical malfunctions.

Metallurgical examination of the fuel selector valve revealed that the lower portion of the polymeric insert exhibited fracture features consistent with rotational ductile overstress. Abrasive wear was present on the outer portion of the insert due to contact with burs on the valve housing. The wear likely took place over a period during which the fuel selector handle would have been difficult to move and excessive force would have been required to move the handle from one position to another.

Review of maintenance records did not reveal any prior anomalies with the fuel selector. The airplane maintenance manual contained instructions, applicable to 100-hour inspections, for the fuel selector to be inspected for condition, security, and operation. The instructions stated that, if the valve binds, sticks, or is otherwise difficult to operate, the fuel selector valve should be lubricated. However, about 5 months had passed since the most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on the airplane. During that time, the airplane had been operated about 78 hours. The investigation could not determine the condition of the fuel selector valve at the last 100-hour inspection.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the fuel selector valve in a position that restricted fuel flow to the engine, resulting in a total loss of engine power during initial climb due to fuel starvation. Also causal was the operator's failure to effectively detect and resolve the wear and progressive binding of the fuel selector valve before it failed due to excessive rotational force being applied. Contributing was the flight instructor's exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during an emergency return to the airport, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin. 

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Failure (Cause)
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Fatigue/wear/corrosion (Cause)
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Not serviced/maintained (Cause)
Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Factor)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Instructor/check pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb
Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)
Fuel starvation
Loss of engine power (total)

Emergency descent
Aerodynamic stall/spin

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Robert Gretz, National Transportation Safety Board senior air safety investigator. 

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

International Aviation LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N2452C


Location: East Haven, CT
Accident Number: ERA17FA112
Date & Time: 02/22/2017, 0956 EST
Registration: N2452C
Aircraft: PIPER PA38
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On February 22, 2017, about 0956 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2452C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in East Haven, Connecticut, during the initial climb from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by American Flight Academy as an instructional flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to an air traffic control transcript provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane completed four touch-and-go landings on runway 20, a 5,600-ft-long by 150-ft-wide asphalt runway. At 0955:43, during initial climb after the fourth landing, one of the pilots declared an emergency and stated, "mayday mayday mayday we're going to land on the other runway." The controller cleared the airplane to land, and no further communications were received from the pilots. Another flight instructor, who was also flying in the HVN airport traffic pattern at the time of the accident, stated that he heard the emergency transmission and could hear the airplane's stall warning horn in the background during the transmission. According to a witness, the airplane then spun to the left, descended in a nose-down attitude, and impacted terrain about 1,000 ft southeast of the departure end of runway 20. Review of radar data did not reveal any targets that could be correlated with the accident airplane during the initial climb in which the accident occurred.

The flight instructor was subsequently interviewed at a hospital by an FAA inspector. The flight instructor told the FAA inspector that he remembered practicing airwork and then returning to the airport to practice touch-and-go landings, but he did not recall the accident sequence. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 20, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/14/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/23/2016
Flight Time:  236.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 30.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 27.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:  No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 16.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 14.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on November 14, 2014. Review of the flight instructor's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of about 236 hours, of which 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor had flown about 28 hours during the 30-day period preceding the accident.

Review of the student pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of about 17 hours of which 15 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The student pilot had not yet flown solo. 






Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N2452C
Model/Series: PA38 112
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 38-79A0192
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/30/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1670 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 78 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8472.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-235
Registered Owner: INTERNATIONAL AVIATION LLC
Rated Power: 112 hp
Operator: INTERNATIONAL AVIATION LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: American Flight Academy
Operator Designator Code: 

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 112-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade, fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller.

Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that, at the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated about 8,473 total hours of operation, and the engine had accumulated 2,508 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 78 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed on September 30, 2016. Review of maintenance records did not reveal any prior anomalies with the airplane's fuel selector. Review of the airplane maintenance manual revealed instructions, applicable to 100-hour inspections, for the fuel selector to be inspected for condition, security, and operation. According to the instructions, if the fuel selector valve binds, sticks, or is otherwise difficult to operate, the fuel selector valve should be lubricated. Specifically, the insert, position washer, and "O" rings should be lubricated. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HVN, 12 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 7500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: East Haven, CT (HVN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: East Haven, CT (HVN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0955 EST
Type of Airspace:

The reported weather at HVN, at 0953, included wind from 210° at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, and an overcast ceiling at 7,500 ft. 

Airport Information

Airport: Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 12 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5600 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 



Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:   41.253611, -72.885556 

No debris path was observed, and the wreckage came to rest upright in a marsh, oriented on a near north magnetic heading. Both wings remained attached to the airframe, and the ailerons and flaps remained attached to their respective wings. The ailerons were about neutral, and the flaps were partially extended. The fuel caps remained secured to their respective wing fuel tanks, and, although both wing fuel tanks were breached during impact, several gallons of fuel remained in each wing. The right wing was buckled. The left wing exhibited more leading edge damage than the right wing, and its wingtip was bent upward, consistent with the left wing impacting terrain before the right wing.

The empennage was curled up and to the left. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. Examination of the elevator trim wheel revealed that the elevator trim cable remained wrapped around the spool twice, which equated to an elevator trim position between neutral and full nose up. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses remained intact. The throttle and mixture levers were in the forward position, and the magnetos were selected to both. The fuel selector handle was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.

The engine was partially buried in mud but remained attached to the airframe, and the propeller remained attached to the engine. The two propeller blades did not exhibit rotational damage. The wreckage was further examined at a recovery facility, and the engine was separated from the airframe for the examination. The valve covers were removed, and oil was noted throughout the engine. The top spark plugs were removed, and the propeller was rotated by hand. Camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity were confirmed to the rear accessory section. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed from the engine. Several drops of fuel were recovered from the pump. When the pump was actuated by hand, suction and compression were confirmed at the inlet and outlet ports. The electric fuel pump activated when connected to a battery.

The throttle and mixture cables remained attached to the carburetor. The carburetor was disassembled, and its float and needle were intact. The carburetor inlet screen was absent of contamination. The carburetor bowl contained a mixture of fuel and water, consistent with its submersion in the marsh. The oil filter was opened, and no contamination was observed. The left magneto remained attached to the engine and produced spark at all four leads when rotated by hand. The right magneto had separated from the engine during impact and did not produce spark when rotated. The right magneto was disassembled, and the plastic housing that secured the breaker points was found fractured, resulting in no gap in the points. The spark plug electrodes remained intact and exhibited normal wear signatures when compared to a Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart. The bottom spark plugs exhibited corrosion consistent with submersion in the brackish marsh water.

During the airframe examination, the fuel selector valve would not move when the fuel selector handle was moved. The fuel selector was then removed and partially disassembled for examination. The examination revealed that the fuel selector valve's polymeric insert had fractured and was in a position that provided openings of about 20% to the right main fuel tank inlet and to the engine outlet, instead of the 100% openings that would have been present with an intact polymeric insert. The fuel selector valve was retained and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Metallurgical examination of the fuel selector valve revealed that the lower portion of the polymeric insert exhibited fracture features consistent with rotational ductile overstress. Abrasive wear was present on the outer portion of the insert due to contact with burs on the valve housing. (For more information, see the Materials Laboratory Factual Report in the public docket for this accident.) 

Medical And Pathological Information

The State of Connecticut, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the student pilot. The cause of death was reported as blunt trauma.

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on samples from both pilots. The results were negative for the student pilot. Positive results for the flight instructor were consistent with the emergency medical treatment that he received after the accident.


Robert J. Gretz, Air Safety Investigator - National Transportation Safety Board

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA112
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in East Haven, CT
Aircraft: PIPER PA38, registration: N2452C
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 22, 2017, about 0957 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2452C, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in East Haven, Connecticut, during the initial climb from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by American Flight Academy as an instructional flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane was performing touch-and-go landings on runway 20, a 5,600-foot-long, 150-feet-wide, asphalt runway. After three uneventful landings, one of the pilots declared an emergency during initial climb by stating "mayday" on the air traffic control tower frequency, but he did not specify the nature of the emergency. The airplane then spun to the left, descended and impacted terrain about 1,000 feet southeast of the departure end of runway 20. Another flight instructor, who was also flying in the airport traffic pattern at HVN during the time of the accident, stated that he heard the emergency transmission and could hear the airplane's stall warning horn in the background during the transmission.

No debris path was observed and the wreckage came to rest upright in a marsh, oriented about a magnetic heading of north. Both wings remained attached to the airframe, with the ailerons and flaps attached to their respective wing. The ailerons were approximately neutral and the flaps were partially extended. The fuel caps remained secured to their respective wing fuel tanks and although both wing fuel tanks were breached during impact, several gallons of fuel remained in each wing. The right wing was buckled, while the left wing exhibited more leading edge damage and its wingtip was bent upward.

The empennage was curled up and to the left. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses remained intact. Additionally, the throttle and mixture levers were in the forward position and the magnetos were selected to both. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.

The engine was partially buried in mud, but remained attached to the airframe and the propeller remained attached to the engine. The two propeller blades did not exhibit rotational damage. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 112-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade, fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller. Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that at the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated about 8,473 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated 2,508 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 78 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed on September 30, 2016.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on November 14, 2014. Review of the flight instructor's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 236 hours; of which, 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor had flown about 28 hours during the 30-day period preceding the accident.

Review of the student pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 17 hours; of which, 15 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The reported weather at HVN, at 0953, included wind from 210° at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles and an overcast ceiling at 7,500 feet.


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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Piper Aircraft; Vero Beach, Florida 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

International Aviation LLC:  http://registry.faa.gov/N2452C




Location: East Haven, CT
Accident Number: ERA17FA112
Date & Time: 02/22/2017, 0956 EST
Registration: N2452C
Aircraft: PIPER PA38
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On February 22, 2017, about 0956 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2452C, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in East Haven, Connecticut, during the initial climb from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by American Flight Academy as an instructional flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to an air traffic control transcript provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane completed four touch-and-go landings on runway 20, a 5,600-ft-long by 150-ft-wide asphalt runway. At 0955:43, during initial climb after the fourth landing, one of the pilots declared an emergency and stated, "mayday mayday mayday we're going to land on the other runway." The controller cleared the airplane to land, and no further communications were received from the pilots. Another flight instructor, who was also flying in the HVN airport traffic pattern at the time of the accident, stated that he heard the emergency transmission and could hear the airplane's stall warning horn in the background during the transmission. According to a witness, the airplane then spun to the left, descended in a nose-down attitude, and impacted terrain about 1,000 ft southeast of the departure end of runway 20. Review of radar data did not reveal any targets that could be correlated with the accident airplane during the initial climb in which the accident occurred.

The flight instructor was subsequently interviewed at a hospital by an FAA inspector. The flight instructor told the FAA inspector that he remembered practicing airwork and then returning to the airport to practice touch-and-go landings, but he did not recall the accident sequence. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 20, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/14/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/23/2016
Flight Time:  236.3 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 30.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 27.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: None
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:  No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 16.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 14.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on November 14, 2014. Review of the flight instructor's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of about 236 hours, of which 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor had flown about 28 hours during the 30-day period preceding the accident.

Review of the student pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of about 17 hours of which 15 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The student pilot had not yet flown solo. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N2452C
Model/Series: PA38 112
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 38-79A0192
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/30/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1670 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 78 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8472.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-235
Registered Owner: INTERNATIONAL AVIATION LLC
Rated Power: 112 hp
Operator: INTERNATIONAL AVIATION LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: American Flight Academy
Operator Designator Code: 

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 112-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade, fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller.

Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that, at the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated about 8,473 total hours of operation, and the engine had accumulated 2,508 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 78 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed on September 30, 2016. Review of maintenance records did not reveal any prior anomalies with the airplane's fuel selector. Review of the airplane maintenance manual revealed instructions, applicable to 100-hour inspections, for the fuel selector to be inspected for condition, security, and operation. According to the instructions, if the fuel selector valve binds, sticks, or is otherwise difficult to operate, the fuel selector valve should be lubricated. Specifically, the insert, position washer, and "O" rings should be lubricated. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: HVN, 12 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 360°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 7500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots, 210°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: East Haven, CT (HVN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: East Haven, CT (HVN)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0955 EST
Type of Airspace:

The reported weather at HVN, at 0953, included wind from 210° at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, and an overcast ceiling at 7,500 ft. 

Airport Information

Airport: Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 12 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5600 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:   41.253611, -72.885556 

No debris path was observed, and the wreckage came to rest upright in a marsh, oriented on a near north magnetic heading. Both wings remained attached to the airframe, and the ailerons and flaps remained attached to their respective wings. The ailerons were about neutral, and the flaps were partially extended. The fuel caps remained secured to their respective wing fuel tanks, and, although both wing fuel tanks were breached during impact, several gallons of fuel remained in each wing. The right wing was buckled. The left wing exhibited more leading edge damage than the right wing, and its wingtip was bent upward, consistent with the left wing impacting terrain before the right wing.

The empennage was curled up and to the left. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. Examination of the elevator trim wheel revealed that the elevator trim cable remained wrapped around the spool twice, which equated to an elevator trim position between neutral and full nose up. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses remained intact. The throttle and mixture levers were in the forward position, and the magnetos were selected to both. The fuel selector handle was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.

The engine was partially buried in mud but remained attached to the airframe, and the propeller remained attached to the engine. The two propeller blades did not exhibit rotational damage. The wreckage was further examined at a recovery facility, and the engine was separated from the airframe for the examination. The valve covers were removed, and oil was noted throughout the engine. The top spark plugs were removed, and the propeller was rotated by hand. Camshaft, crankshaft, and valve train continuity were confirmed to the rear accessory section. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders. The engine-driven fuel pump was removed from the engine. Several drops of fuel were recovered from the pump. When the pump was actuated by hand, suction and compression were confirmed at the inlet and outlet ports. The electric fuel pump activated when connected to a battery.

The throttle and mixture cables remained attached to the carburetor. The carburetor was disassembled, and its float and needle were intact. The carburetor inlet screen was absent of contamination. The carburetor bowl contained a mixture of fuel and water, consistent with its submersion in the marsh. The oil filter was opened, and no contamination was observed. The left magneto remained attached to the engine and produced spark at all four leads when rotated by hand. The right magneto had separated from the engine during impact and did not produce spark when rotated. The right magneto was disassembled, and the plastic housing that secured the breaker points was found fractured, resulting in no gap in the points. The spark plug electrodes remained intact and exhibited normal wear signatures when compared to a Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart. The bottom spark plugs exhibited corrosion consistent with submersion in the brackish marsh water.

During the airframe examination, the fuel selector valve would not move when the fuel selector handle was moved. The fuel selector was then removed and partially disassembled for examination. The examination revealed that the fuel selector valve's polymeric insert had fractured and was in a position that provided openings of about 20% to the right main fuel tank inlet and to the engine outlet, instead of the 100% openings that would have been present with an intact polymeric insert. The fuel selector valve was retained and forwarded to the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, DC.

Metallurgical examination of the fuel selector valve revealed that the lower portion of the polymeric insert exhibited fracture features consistent with rotational ductile overstress. Abrasive wear was present on the outer portion of the insert due to contact with burs on the valve housing. (For more information, see the Materials Laboratory Factual Report in the public docket for this accident.) 

Medical And Pathological Information

The State of Connecticut, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the student pilot. The cause of death was reported as blunt trauma.

Toxicological testing was performed by the FAA Bioaeronautical Science Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on samples from both pilots. The results were negative for the student pilot. Positive results for the flight instructor were consistent with the emergency medical treatment that he received after the accident.

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA112
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in East Haven, CT
Aircraft: PIPER PA38, registration: N2452C
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On February 22, 2017, about 0957 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2452C, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in East Haven, Connecticut, during the initial climb from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by American Flight Academy as an instructional flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane was performing touch-and-go landings on runway 20, a 5,600-foot-long, 150-feet-wide, asphalt runway. After three uneventful landings, one of the pilots declared an emergency during initial climb by stating "mayday" on the air traffic control tower frequency, but he did not specify the nature of the emergency. The airplane then spun to the left, descended and impacted terrain about 1,000 feet southeast of the departure end of runway 20. Another flight instructor, who was also flying in the airport traffic pattern at HVN during the time of the accident, stated that he heard the emergency transmission and could hear the airplane's stall warning horn in the background during the transmission.

No debris path was observed and the wreckage came to rest upright in a marsh, oriented about a magnetic heading of north. Both wings remained attached to the airframe, with the ailerons and flaps attached to their respective wing. The ailerons were approximately neutral and the flaps were partially extended. The fuel caps remained secured to their respective wing fuel tanks and although both wing fuel tanks were breached during impact, several gallons of fuel remained in each wing. The right wing was buckled, while the left wing exhibited more leading edge damage and its wingtip was bent upward.

The empennage was curled up and to the left. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses remained intact. Additionally, the throttle and mixture levers were in the forward position and the magnetos were selected to both. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.

The engine was partially buried in mud, but remained attached to the airframe and the propeller remained attached to the engine. The two propeller blades did not exhibit rotational damage. The wreckage was retained for further examination.

The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 112-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade, fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller. Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that at the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated about 8,473 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated 2,508 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 78 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed on September 30, 2016.

The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on November 14, 2014. Review of the flight instructor's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 236 hours; of which, 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor had flown about 28 hours during the 30-day period preceding the accident.

Review of the student pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 17 hours; of which, 15 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The reported weather at HVN, at 0953, included wind from 210° at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles and an overcast ceiling at 7,500 feet.



Federal agents with a search warrant seized records from American Flight Academy at Brainard Airport Thursday afternoon.

The agents from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General arrived about noon and were still searching the flight school's office Thursday evening. The agents also searched an apartment building on Essex Street in Hartford where American Flight Academy students live.

Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian Foley confirmed that Hartford police assisted the federal agents in serving the search warrants, but declined to comment further. State police also assisted.

A person familiar with activity at the airport said Thursday night that when the agents arrived they announced they had a warrant and asked to see everyone's ID.

"They came in and said, 'We have a warrant, stay where you are,'" the person said.

A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the federal agents seized paper and computer records from the flight school offices and a flight school hangar at the airport.

The FBI has been investigating the Oct. 11, 2016, crash of an American Flight Academy aircraft in East Hartford. The flight instructor, Arian Prevalla, was burned in the crash and the student, Feras Freitekh, was killed.

American Flight Academy lost another airplane and student in a Feb. 22 crash near Tweed-New Haven Airport in East Haven.

Kevin Dehghani, a lawyer for American Flight Academy, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.

In the East Hartford case, Prevalla told investigators that the student pilot began acting erratically as the aircraft prepared to land at Brainard Airport in Hartford, and that the crash appeared to be intentional.

The National Transportation Safety Board said its initial investigation indicated the crash was "an intentional act." As a result, the FBI took over the investigation and has not released any information since.

A final NTSB report has not been produced.

Prevalla told investigators that he screamed at Freitekh to release the airplane's controls and hit Freitekh's left hand, but Freitekh's grip remained firm and he refused to relinquish control, according to police reports and sources. Prevalla told police Freitekh continued to fight with him over control of the aircraft.

Prevalla also told investigators that Freitekh was from Jordan and was training to become a commercial pilot. Prevalla is the president of the flight academy and an investor in the Hartford Jet Center at Brainard. The plane involved in the East Hartford crash was a Piper PA-34 Seneca.

Immediately after the October crash, police and federal agents searched the Annawan Street apartment in Hartford that Freitekh shared with several other foreign flight students. The FBI also seized Freitekh's electronic devices and planned to search them. Authorities interviewed Freitekh's roommates, and cleared them, sources said.

FBI agents also interviewed several foreign students living at an Essex Street apartment owned by Prevalla and cleared them.

But federal officials have never closed their investigation into the crash. They told the state medical examiner several times that their investigation was continuing. The medical examiner eventually ruled the manner of Freitekh's death would be listed as undetermined and not suicide unless new information emerged.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.courant.com

HARTFORD — Federal authorities from the Department of Transportation were on the scene of a flight school that owned planes involved in two fatal plane crashes that happened four months apart.

Government agents were at the offices of American Flight School at Brainard Field on Thursday afternoon.

Connecticut State Police spokesperson Tpr. Kelly Grant said they assisted federal Department of Transportation officials in their investigation at the American Flight Academy today.

“There are no indications of what was being investigated or why.”

Instructors from the school were with students at the time of both crashes.

On October 11, 2016, a small plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford. Feras Freitekh, the student pilot, was killed and Arian Prevalla, the flight instructor, was injured.  The NTSB announced their initial investigation into the crash “indicates the crash is the result of an intentional act.”

On February 22, student pilot Pablo Campos, 31, of East Haven, died in the crashed near Tweed-New Haven airport. The flight instructor, Rafayel Hany Wassef, 20, of New London, was critically injured. The NTSB said the pilot of the plane had been practicing landings and take offs, called “touch and go’s.” The student pilot and instructor had successfully performed three touch and go’s and on the last one declared a Mayday to the tower.

Read more here:  http://fox61.com


NTSB Identification: ERA17FA011
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in East Hartford, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200, registration: N15294
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On October 11, 2016, about 1530 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200 twin-engine airplane, N15294, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD), Hartford, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to International Aviation, LLC, and operated by American Flight Academy as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the airport at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed HFD about an hour earlier.

The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The NTSB provided requested technical assistance to the FBI, and any material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the FBI. The NTSB does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The NTSB did not determine the probable cause of this event and does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket. The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - An attorney for the student pilot who died in a plane crash in Connecticut has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the flight school involved. 

In the lawsuit, an attorney for Feras Freitekh accuses the American Flight Academy of carelessness and negligence. Attorney Michael Peck says he is claiming there were also maintenance issues with the plane.

Freitekh was killed and his instructor Arian Prevalla was badly burned in the 2016 crash in Hartford.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that Freitekh crashed the plane intentionally in its initial report.

Attorneys for the flight academy and the instructor did not provide comment.

The academy closed its last Connecticut location June 1.

Original article can be found here: http://www.washingtontimes.com

Federal Agents Seize Records From American Flight Academy At Hartford-Brainard Airport (KHFD) 

Federal agents with a search warrant seized records from American Flight Academy at Brainard Airport Thursday afternoon.

The agents from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General arrived about noon and were still searching the flight school's office Thursday evening. The agents also searched an apartment building on Essex Street in Hartford where American Flight Academy students live.

Hartford police Deputy Chief Brian Foley confirmed that Hartford police assisted the federal agents in serving the search warrants, but declined to comment further. State police also assisted.


A person familiar with activity at the airport said Thursday night that when the agents arrived they announced they had a warrant and asked to see everyone's ID.


"They came in and said, 'We have a warrant, stay where you are,'" the person said.


A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said the federal agents seized paper and computer records from the flight school offices and a flight school hangar at the airport.


The FBI has been investigating the Oct. 11, 2016, crash of an American Flight Academy aircraft in East Hartford. The flight instructor, Arian Prevalla, was burned in the crash and the student, Feras Freitekh, was killed.


American Flight Academy lost another airplane and student in a Feb. 22 crash near Tweed-New Haven Airport in East Haven.


Kevin Dehghani, a lawyer for American Flight Academy, could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.


In the East Hartford case, Prevalla told investigators that the student pilot began acting erratically as the aircraft prepared to land at Brainard Airport in Hartford, and that the crash appeared to be intentional.


The National Transportation Safety Board said its initial investigation indicated the crash was "an intentional act." As a result, the FBI took over the investigation and has not released any information since.


A final NTSB report has not been produced.


Prevalla told investigators that he screamed at Freitekh to release the airplane's controls and hit Freitekh's left hand, but Freitekh's grip remained firm and he refused to relinquish control, according to police reports and sources. Prevalla told police Freitekh continued to fight with him over control of the aircraft.


Prevalla also told investigators that Freitekh was from Jordan and was training to become a commercial pilot. Prevalla is the president of the flight academy and an investor in the Hartford Jet Center at Brainard. The plane involved in the East Hartford crash was a Piper PA-34 Seneca.


Immediately after the October crash, police and federal agents searched the Annawan Street apartment in Hartford that Freitekh shared with several other foreign flight students. The FBI also seized Freitekh's electronic devices and planned to search them. Authorities interviewed Freitekh's roommates, and cleared them, sources said.


FBI agents also interviewed several foreign students living at an Essex Street apartment owned by Prevalla and cleared them.


But federal officials have never closed their investigation into the crash. They told the state medical examiner several times that their investigation was continuing. The medical examiner eventually ruled the manner of Freitekh's death would be listed as undetermined and not suicide unless new information emerged.


Original article can be found here:  http://www.courant.com


HARTFORD — Federal authorities from the Department of Transportation were on the scene of a flight school that owned planes involved in two fatal plane crashes that happened four months apart.


Government agents were at the offices of American Flight School at Brainard Field on Thursday afternoon.


Connecticut State Police spokesperson Tpr. Kelly Grant said they assisted federal Department of Transportation officials in their investigation at the American Flight Academy today.


“There are no indications of what was being investigated or why.”


Instructors from the school were with students at the time of both crashes.


On October 11, 2016, a small plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford. Feras Freitekh, the student pilot, was killed and Arian Prevalla, the flight instructor, was injured.  The NTSB announced their initial investigation into the crash “indicates the crash is the result of an intentional act.”


On February 22, student pilot Pablo Campos, 31, of East Haven, died in the crashed near Tweed-New Haven airport. The flight instructor, Rafayel Hany Wassef, 20, of New London, was critically injured. The NTSB said the pilot of the plane had been practicing landings and take offs, called “touch and go’s.” The student pilot and instructor had successfully performed three touch and go’s and on the last one declared a Mayday to the tower.


Read more here:  http://fox61.com


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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: ERA17FA011

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in East Hartford, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200, registration: N15294
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On October 11, 2016, about 1530 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200 twin-engine airplane, N15294, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Hartford-Brainard Airport (HFD), Hartford, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured, and the private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to International Aviation, LLC, and operated by American Flight Academy as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the airport at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed HFD about an hour earlier.


The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The NTSB provided requested technical assistance to the FBI, and any material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the FBI. The NTSB does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The NTSB did not determine the probable cause of this event and does not plan to issue a report or open a public docket. The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.




NTSB Identification: ERA17FA112

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in East Haven, CT
Aircraft: PIPER PA38, registration: N2452C
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

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. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.


On February 22, 2017, about 0957 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2452C, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain in East Haven, Connecticut, during the initial climb from Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), New Haven, Connecticut. The flight instructor was seriously injured and the student pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by American Flight Academy as an instructional flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.


According to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airplane was performing touch-and-go landings on runway 20, a 5,600-foot-long, 150-feet-wide, asphalt runway. After three uneventful landings, one of the pilots declared an emergency during initial climb by stating "mayday" on the air traffic control tower frequency, but he did not specify the nature of the emergency. The airplane then spun to the left, descended and impacted terrain about 1,000 feet southeast of the departure end of runway 20. Another flight instructor, who was also flying in the airport traffic pattern at HVN during the time of the accident, stated that he heard the emergency transmission and could hear the airplane's stall warning horn in the background during the transmission.


No debris path was observed and the wreckage came to rest upright in a marsh, oriented about a magnetic heading of north. Both wings remained attached to the airframe, with the ailerons and flaps attached to their respective wing. The ailerons were approximately neutral and the flaps were partially extended. The fuel caps remained secured to their respective wing fuel tanks and although both wing fuel tanks were breached during impact, several gallons of fuel remained in each wing. The right wing was buckled, while the left wing exhibited more leading edge damage and its wingtip was bent upward.


The empennage was curled up and to the left. The horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, rudder, and elevator remained intact. Flight control continuity was confirmed from all flight control surfaces to the cockpit area. Examination of the cockpit revealed that the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses remained intact. Additionally, the throttle and mixture levers were in the forward position and the magnetos were selected to both. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right main fuel tank.


The engine was partially buried in mud, but remained attached to the airframe and the propeller remained attached to the engine. The two propeller blades did not exhibit rotational damage. The wreckage was retained for further examination.


The two-seat, low-wing, fixed tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1978. It was powered by a Lycoming O-235, 112-horsepower engine, equipped with a two-blade, fixed-pitch Sensenich propeller. Review of the airplane's logbooks revealed that at the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated about 8,473 total hours of operation and the engine had accumulated 2,508 hours since major overhaul. The airplane had been operated for 78 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed on September 30, 2016.


The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on November 14, 2014. Review of the flight instructor's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 236 hours; of which, 12 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The flight instructor had flown about 28 hours during the 30-day period preceding the accident.


Review of the student pilot's logbook revealed that he had accumulated a total flight experience of approximately 17 hours; of which, 15 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane.


The reported weather at HVN, at 0953, included wind from 210° at 5 knots, visibility 10 statute miles and an overcast ceiling at 7,500 feet.