NTSB Identification: LAX98LA298.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 18, 1998 in MESA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Aero Vodochody Aero. Works L-39, registration: N44529
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.

While attempting a simulated flame out (SFO) approach, the pilots initiated a go-around at 300 feet agl. They applied full throttle but the engine did not spool up right away and they were not able to arrest their sink rate. About 10 to 12 seconds later the aircraft landed hard 700 feet short of the runway then veered off to the right. The second pilot got the airplane airborne again then touched down in the dirt. At that point the PIC took the controls and attempted to return to the runway, but the aircraft struck the localizer antenna with the right wing tip, which he had not been able to see from the back seat. About 150 yards before the airplane came to a stop, the second pilot ejected from the aircraft without warning. The aircraft came to rest upright in the desert brush. The aircraft pilot's operating handbook directs the pilot to decide whether to continue the landing or eject at a decision height of 800 feet agl. The handbook also indicates that the spool-up time for the aircraft engine is 9 to 12 seconds. The PIC stated that he had expected the engine to spool up in '4 to 5 seconds.' Postaccident examination revealed that the flaps were at the takeoff position, 25 degrees down. The PIC reported that he thought the flaps were still full down at the time of impact. He had also reported that during the descent, it felt like 'the bottom fell out.' Bringing the flaps up before establishing a positive rate of climb can cause a sink rate of 500 to 700 feet per minute. The PIC further stated that he hadn't experienced any problems with the engine prior to the accident.

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

The pilot's improper flare and his failure to follow the proper procedures for the aircraft and to maintain control of the aircraft.

Full narrative available

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