Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, N297PA; accident occurred April 01, 2018 at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT), Maricopa County, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Phoenix, Arizona 
Accident Number: GAA18CA193
Date & Time: April 1, 2018, 13:53 Local 
Registration: N297PA
Aircraft: Piper PA28
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The flight instructor reported that he was conducting a lesson in takeoffs and landings and go-around procedures with the student pilot at the controls. During one particular go-around, the student retracted the flaps too far and the instructor stressed the importance of using the proper flap settings. On the subsequent downwind, the tower advised a crosswind from the south gusting to 18 knots. During the approach, the airplane drifted left of the runway centerline, so he called for the student to execute a go-around. The student pilot applied full power and reduced flaps from 40° to 10° (25º is prescribed in the go-around procedure). When the flight instructor noticed that the airplane was not climbing and the student was not correcting the course, the flight instructor took the flight controls. The flight instructor attempted to recover, but the airplane was in a nose-high attitude and struck the ground. The airplane then lifted off the ground and flew slowly toward a sign; the instructor "pulled up to avoid the sign," but the airplane struck the sign, aerodynamically stalled, and impacted the ground to the right of the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation station located on the accident airport reported that, at the time of the accident, the wind was from 110° at 8 knots. The airplane was landing on runway 7L.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B, contains a section titled "Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)" which states:

After establishing the proper climb attitude and power settings, be concerned first with flaps and secondly with the landing gear (if retractable). When the decision is made to perform a go-around, takeoff power is applied immediately and the pitch attitude changed so as to slow or stop the descent. After the descent has been stopped, the landing flaps are partially retracted or placed in the takeoff position as recommended by the manufacturer. Caution must be used in retracting the flaps. Depending on the airplane's altitude and airspeed, it is wise to retract the flaps intermittently in small increments to allow time for the airplane to accelerate progressively as they are being raised. A sudden and complete retraction of the flaps could cause a loss of lift resulting in the airplane settling into the ground.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's improper selection of the flap setting during a go-around, and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.


Aircraft Configuration - Incorrect use/operation
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot
Aircraft Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Sign/marker - Contributed to outcome
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Approach-VFR go-around Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 32, 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 Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/29/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/22/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 336.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 73 hours (Total, this make and model), 219.4 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 24, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/05/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N297PA
Model/Series: PA28 181
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 2843506
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/20/2018, AAIP
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2558 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 18692 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360 SERIES
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: AeroGuard Flight Training Center
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDVT, 1455 ft msl
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 183°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / -7°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots, 110°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: WICKENBURG, AZ (E25)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1255 MST
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1478 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 07L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  33.688889, -112.081944 (est)

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