NTSB Identification: NYC06FA154.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 22, 2006 in Newry, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N572BA
Injuries: 4 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 boarding three Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets for an orientation flight, the flight instructor of the Cessna 172 executed a takeoff. Once airborne, the airplane made an "immediate" right turn directly towards a mountain. The airplane continued towards the mountain, paralleled the mountain's face, then passed over the mountain and out of sight. The wreckage was located in a heavily wooded area 2,070 feet above sea level. The debris path and impact marks were consistent with a near vertical impact. Also, no preimpact mechanical malfunctions were discovered when the wreckage was examined. The flight instructor had a history of flying low and performing maneuvers bordering on excessive with cadets onboard. The day of the accident and on the flight prior to the accident flight, cadets experienced zero-g maneuvers, along with near vertical climbs and descents with the pilot recovering between 75 to 100 feet above the ground.

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

The flight instructor's failure to maintain altitude/clearance while maneuvering, which resulted in an impact with trees.

Full narrative available

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