NTSB Identification: LAX99LA073.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 11, 1999 in ARLINGTON, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N4129S
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The certified flight instructor (CFI) was familiar with the area, and he initiated a simulated total loss of engine power for a practice forced landing for his student as they approached a crop duster airstrip. The dirt airstrip is located on a small bluff, and approaching it they encountered a downdraft. The student reset the wing flaps from 40 to 25 degrees; however, the airplane descended below the desired glide path. The CFI allowed the student to continue approaching the airstrip. The CFI directed that a go-around be initiated, and engine power was rapidly applied. Seconds later, the airplane impacted a residential service power line and an unoccupied house as the power was increasing. The airplane came to rest about 550 short of the airstrip. The operator, who employed the CFI, reported that it had provided the CFI with written guidance regarding the minimum altitude at which go-arounds were to be initiated during the practice of simulated forced landings. In pertinent part, the operator's Procedures and Techniques manual stated the following: 'Every go around from a simulated engine failure shall be performed by the student prior to 500 feet AGL if not approaching a paved runway.'

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

The flight instructor's inadequate supervision of his student and his failure to initiate timely remedial action. Contributing factors were the student's failure to maintain the proper glidepath under the existing downdraft condition, the flight instructor's failure to adhere to the company procedure regarding minimum safe altitudes for termination of practice forced landings. Additional contributing factors were the downdraft condition and the power.

Full narrative available

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