NTSB Identification: DEN02FA084.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 31, 2002 in Greeley, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172K, registration: N7383G
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 student pilot and flight instructor were departing for his third flight lesson; the density altitude was calculated to be 8,393 feet. The flight instructor said that the student began to level the airplane 5 to 10 seconds after liftoff. He said that he took hold of the yoke and assisted the student in adjusting the airplane's pitch to resume the departure climb, and then gave full aircraft control back to the student. The instructor said that he looked out of the airplane to see if there were any airplanes landing on the cross runway. Suddenly, and without warning, the flight controls went to the full forward position and the plane began to dive directly towards the runway. He said he grabbed the control yoke, but could not arrest the descent before the airplane impacted the runaway. The student pilot was taking a non-approved for flight, prescription medication.

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

the student pilot's improper handling of the airplane's controls (for reason undetermined), and the inadequate supervision of the flight instructor. A contributing factor was the high density altitude weather condition.

Full narrative available

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