NTSB Identification: CEN09LA238
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 17, 2009 in Lakeville, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A certified flight instructor (CFI) and his student were practicing maneuvers to simulate slow flight and aircraft control before landing. The intent of the maneuver was to fly the airplane down the length of the runway with the wheels about 2 feet above the runway surface. The student was to control airspeed with pitch, heading with rudder, drift with aileron control, and altitude with power. The CFI stated that the accident occurred on the second attempt of this maneuver and that the first attempt ended because the student was too fast and had too much engine power. The CFI stated that the second pass "started well" but the airplane began to sink around mid-field. He instructed the student to relinquish control and attempted a go-around. The airplane started pitching up and turning to the left, and subsequently impacted the ground. The CFI stated that he believed the student was pushing on the CFI's left rudder pedal during the mishap. He stated that on other occasions students have had their right foot slip off the pilot rudder pedal and on to the co-pilot's left rudder pedal. The student gave a similar account of the accident, but stated that after he relinquished control his feet were "tucked back under [him]." The manufacturer has designed a retrofit barrier that, when installed, would prevent a pilot from being able to depress the rudder pedal in the neighboring pilot position.

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

The instructor pilot’s failure to maintain directional control of the airplane, and the student pilot’s unintentional interference with the instructor’s rudder pedal during the go-around. Contributing to the accident was the cockpit design which allowed inadvertent rudder pedal activation from the opposite seat position.

Full narrative available

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