NTSB Identification: DCA09FA028
14 CFR Public Use
Accident occurred Thursday, February 19, 2009 in Sierra Vista, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
Aircraft: GENERAL ATOMICS MQ-9, registration: CBP-108
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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.

At the time of the accident the flight was operating as a Launch Recovery Element training mission, performing touch-and-go landings on runway 26. Customs and Border Protection had resumed pilot training following a Federal Aviation Administration-imposed suspension as a result of an accident 2 days prior. The accident landing was the seventh of eight planned landings. As the student pilot rotated the aircraft into the landing flare about six feet above the touchdown zone, a tailwind of approximately 9 knots was recorded. The instructor told the student to increase the pitch to arrest the descent rate and increase power to begin a go-around. However, the aircraft touched down hard on the main gear and lower vertical stabilizer and porpoised a number of times. The instructor then took over, executing a go-around and landing with no further incident. The aircraft sustained damage to the propeller, left main landing gear, vertical fin and the lower cowl. There was no evidence of any preexisting anomalies with the aircraft.

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

The student pilot's improper flare while landing with a tailwind and the instructor pilot's delayed response.

Full narrative available

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