NTSB Identification: FTW02LA100.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 22, 2002 in Terrell, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N3687M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the tailwheel endorsement flight, the private pilot was performing a short field landing to the runway when tree branches hit the fuselage, and the right wing struck the trees. Subsequently, the airplane slowed, nosed down, and turned right. The flight instructor recalled applying left aileron and left rudder with little or no effect, and the airplane hit the ground. The flight instructor believed that the airplane encountered a sink rate which he did not detect. He further stated that "the deterioring flight path went undetected" by him since he thought the airplane had cleared the area of the trees, which caused him to "under utilize visual clues more to the sides of the approach path." The pilot reported the wind was from the north-northwest at 5-15 mph and "bumpy."

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

the inadequate supervision by the flight instructor resulting in the dual student's failure to maintain the proper glidepath during the short field approach. A contributing factor was the downdraft.

Full narrative available

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