NTSB Identification: NYC97LA090.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 12, 1997 in MORRISTOWN, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/01/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N65983
Injuries: 1 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.

This was the instructor's second instructional flight with the student, and he had given no prior night instruction to the student. The student had a total flight experience of 52 hours, of which .7 was night time, logged in January 1997. During this second instructional flight, the instructor elected to verbally authorize the student to conduct his first supervised solo at night with an inoperative landing light. The student stated that it was very dark and there was no visible horizon when he elected to perform a go-around during the third landing attempt. The student pilot also stated that he thought the airplane was in a 'high pitch attitude' during the go-around. During the go-around, the airplane descended and impacted the ground. A manager of the operator stated that it was a standard operating procedure to alternate instructor's on a regular basis, and typically a student would receive instruction from several different instructor's prior to solo.

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

The flight instructor's inadequate supervision which allowed the student to solo at night with less than one hour of night instruction with a known inoperative landing and taxi light. A Factor was the student pilot's spatial disorientation which resulted in the loss of control.

Full narrative available

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