NTSB Identification: LAX01LA122.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 20, 2001 in Gila Bend, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N4188E
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

During a simulated engine out procedure the airplane landed short of the runway in desert terrain colliding with brush and coming to rest in a ditch. The purpose of the flight was to conduct simulated engine out landings. Both pilots estimated the wind as coming down the runway about 5-10 knots. The student had landed two previous times with no problems noted by him or the CFI. On the third landing the CFI simulated an engine out. When the student entered onto the final leg of the approach he noted that the winds had increased, or were stronger than expected. He informed the CFI that he was not going to add the second notch of flaps because of the increased drag. On short final he estimated that at his current altitude and airspeed, with the given wind condition, he would not be able to make the landing. He called out a go-around, and was instructed to continue the approach. The CFI then added the second notch of flaps. He adjusted his airspeed to compensate for the increased drag and noted that the airplane was rapidly losing altitude. He called out for a go-around and advanced the throttle full forward; however, the airplane continued to sink. The CFI thought they had encountered a wind shear event, from a straight headwind to no wind at all.

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

Failure of the CFI to properly supervise the flight and the failure of the dual studen to maintain flying airspeed. A contributing factor was the wind shear encountered.

Full narrative available

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