NTSB Identification: BFO94FA005.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 10, 1993 in WALKERSVILLE, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N47456
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE INSTRUCTOR (CFI) AND STUDENT PILOT DEPARTED ON AN INSTRUCTIONAL FLIGHT DURING A DARK NIGHT TO PRACTICE STALLS AND SLOW FLIGHT. ABOUT 15 MINUTES LATER, WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING A LIGHT DESCENDING TO THE GROUND AT A 'STEEP ANGLE' AND HEARING AN IMPACT. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED AN OPEN FIELD IN A NOSE-DOWN, INVERTED ATTITUDE. AN EXAM OF THE WRECKAGE DID NOT REVEAL ANY PREIMPACT MECHANICAL DEFICIENCY. ALTHOUGH THE FLAP ACTUATOR WAS FOUND IN A FULLY EXTENDED POSITION, THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF A HIGH SPEED IMPACT. DURING IMPACT, THE AIRPLANE WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED, AND THE ENGINE AND PROPELLER WERE COMPLETELY IMBEDDED IN THE GROUND. AN EXAM OF THE RECORDS INDICATED THAT THE CFI HAD LOGGED 4 HOURS OF NIGHT FLIGHT INSTRUCTION TIME BEFORE THE ACCIDENT AND 66 HOURS OF TOTAL INSTRUCTION TIME. THE ACCIDENT FLIGHT WAS THE STUDENT PILOT'S FIFTH FLIGHT; HIS FIRST TWO FLIGHTS WERE ALSO PARTIALLY CONDUCTED AT NIGHT BY THE CFI. THE STUDENT HAD A TOTAL FLIGHT TIME OF 4.5 HOURS (ALL DUAL INSTRUCTION).

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

IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY THE INSTRUCTOR PILOT (CFI) BY TEACHING STALLS AND SLOW FLIGHT TO A PRE-SOLO STUDENT ON A DARK NIGHT, AND THE INSTRUCTOR'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN (OR REGAIN) CONTROL OF THE AIRPLANE, DUE TO SPATIAL DISORIENTATION. FACTOR'S RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE CFI'S LACK OF EXPERIENCE IN THE TYPE OF OPERATION, AND DARKNESS.

Full narrative available

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