NTSB Identification: MIA00LA171.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 25, 2000 in CHAPEL HILL, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N47561
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the CFI, he and the student obtained their preflight weather briefing via the flight school's computer/CIRRUS WX software, and were advised that present weather was good but be alert to afternoon thunderstorms. At about the same time they departed, the local AFSS was advising subsequent flights, 'A line of thunderstorms was approaching from the west much more quickly than anticipated', and to reconsider flying at that time. The accident flight completed their first leg successfully, but encountered unexpectedly strong winds on their return leg's approach for landing. Despite the CFI's assuming control of the airplane, altitude and heading control was lost when encountering severely gusting winds and the flight collided with the terrain short of the intended landing point.

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

The failure of the CFI to delay his landing until the approaching line of thunderstorms passed, causing the flight to encounter severely gusting wind conditions resulting in the loss of altitude control and collision with the terrain.

Full narrative available

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