NTSB Identification: LAX01FA208.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 14, 2001 in Lanai City, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N319FC
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
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 aircraft collided with terrain during a night cross-country dual instructional flight. Prior to the flight, the student obtained an abbreviated weather briefing. A preflight specialist advised, "VFR flight was not recommended" along a portion of the planned flight route. Along the planned route of flight multiple scattered to broken cloud layers were forecast from 2,000 feet msl to 6,500 feet, with few clouds at 1,000 feet, and tops at 8,000 feet. The student filed a flight plan for cruise flight at an altitude of 3,000 feet msl between islands. The accident site was at 1,760 feet msl. The flight departed its home base about 1945. Sunset was at 1910, and the end of civil twilight was 1934. During an en route contact with an FAA Automated Flight Service Station, the student asked if the filed destination airport was public or private. The specialist advised the student that it was a private airport. The student cancelled the flight plan, and indicated that they were returning to the departure airport. The student pilot was flying the airplane and as weather conditions deteriorated, the certified flight instructor (CFI) advised the student to make a right turn. Instead, the student made a left, descending turn into a cloud. The CFI took control of the airplane, and initiated a climb; however, the airplane impacted the ground. Post accident examination revealed no mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the CFI's inadequate in-flight planning/decision making, inadequate supervision, and his delayed remedial action, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Full narrative available
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