NTSB Identification: ERA10CA152
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 24, 2010 in Patillas, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/17/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N5212L
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The certificated flight instructor (CFI) stated that the student pilot was performing the takeoff. Upon reaching 65 knots, the student pilot panicked for no apparent reason and pulled the throttle back to abort the takeoff. The CFI knew that there was not enough runway remaining to safely stop, and took control of the airplane to continue the takeoff. The airplane was able to clear trees at the departure end of the runway, but the CFI stated that he was too low to gain airspeed or a positive rate of climb. The CFI elected to land in a river to avoid trees and rising terrain immediately ahead, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

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

The student pilot’s decision to abort the takeoff with insufficient runway remaining.

Full narrative available

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