NTSB Identification: LAX03FA045.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 04, 2002 in Phelan, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N15969
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

After hearing a loud engine noise, witnesses looked up and observed the accident airplane in a nose down spiral and then impact the ground. According to personnel at the flight school, the student pilot had rented the airplane for two flights, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. They stated that the morning flight was to practice maneuvers in preparation for his private pilot check ride. The flight school personnel did not know the intended purpose of the afternoon flight. Witnesses on the ground about 1/4-mile southwest of the accident site were attracted to the sound of a loud engine and looked up. The airplane was about 500 feet above the ground in a nose-down spiral that continued to ground impact. The witness did not hear or see anything unusual prior to hearing the loud engine noise. No preimpact anomalies were found during detailed airframe and engine examinations.

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

the student pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering that lead to a stall spin and impact with flat desert terrain.

Full narrative available

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