NTSB Identification: NYC95LA074.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 16, 1995 in JACKSON, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: BEECH T-34B, registration: N1440L
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 NIGHT TRAINING FLIGHT DEPARTED UNDER CONDITIONS OF A HAZY SKY, WITH A PRIVATE PILOT AND FLT INSTR ONBOARD. DUE TO REDUCED VISIBILITY, THE FLT INSTR DECIDED TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT. HE INSTRUCTED THE PVT PILOT TO STAY ABOUT 500 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND AS THE AIRPLANE TURNED DOWNWIND OVER UNLIGHTED TERRAIN. THE PVT PILOT REPORTED THE FLT INSTR TOLD HIM HE WAS GAINING ALTITUDE AND HE, 'PUSHED THE NOSE OVER.' THE FLT INSTR THEN TOLD HIM, 'DON'T GO DOWN TOO FAST.' THE FLT INSTR TOOK CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE AS IT PASSED THROUGH 200 FT AGL. IT STRUCK TREES ABOUT 100 FT HIGH, AND CAME TO REST ON THE GROUND, 600 FT LATER, UPRIGHT. NEITHER PILOT HAD FLOWN ANY NIGHT TIME IN THE PRECEDING 90 DAYS. THE FLT INSTR HAD LOGGED 3 HOURS OF INSTRUMENT TIME IN THE PRECEDING 90 DAYS.

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

the flight instructor's attempt to maintain visual reference with the ground, and his delayed remedial action to the dual student's actions, which resulted in an inadvertent tree strike. Factors were the lack of recent night experience for both pilots, the haze, and dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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