NTSB Identification: FTW97LA139.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 20, 1997 in ABILENE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-16, registration: N6883K
Injuries: 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.

During the takeoff roll, the bench style front seat fell backward, and neither the flight instructor nor the student pilot could reach the controls. The tailwheel equipped airplane ground looped to the left at full throttle, and the right wing tip and right horizontal stabilizer struck the ground. An FAA inspector examined the airplane and reported that the seat adjustment pin came out of the locking hole allowing the seat to slide back to the point where it became uncaptured and rolled over. The flight instructor stated that a 'better seat latch or a positive seat retainer' could have prevented the accident.

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

The unlatching of the front bench seat for an undetermined reason.

Full narrative available

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