NTSB Identification: LAX04FA207.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, May 13, 2004 in Wittmann, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-44-180, registration: N4144C
Injuries: 3 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.

The airplane collided with terrain in a spin following an in-flight loss of control. The multiengine instructional flight departed to the west practice area. Radar data indicated that the crew climbed to 6,000 feet, but didn't maintain that altitude. The altitude varied (climbing and descending) about 500 feet for the next several minutes. About 20 miles west-northwest of the airport, they began a figure-eight type of track, and then went into a descending 360-degree turn before the last radar contact. The last radar return was just abeam the main wreckage area at a mode C transponder reported altitude of 3,900 feet. A witness saw the airplane spinning as it headed toward the ground in a nose low attitude. The preceding target was 18 seconds earlier at a mode C altitude of 5,200 feet. Investigators established control continuity, and noted no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or either engine.

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

The flight instructor's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed to avoid a stall/spin while maneuvering the airplane with a dual student.

Full narrative available

Index for May2004 | Index of months