NTSB Identification: ERA10LA446
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 27, 2010 in Beverly, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/13/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N9184Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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.

The flight instructor and the private pilot receiving instrument instruction noticed that the pilots of another airplane ahead of them were having difficulty latching the canopy. The flight instructor opened his door, exited the airplane to try to help them, and either jumped or stumbled off the leading edge of the right wing and came into contact with the airplaneā€™s moving propeller.

The airplane was equipped with a walkway which led aft from the cockpit and was used to enter and exit the airplane. The cabin door was hinged at the front, and was equipped with a door holder which prevented over travel of the door and would hold the door in an open position, blocking an occupant from going forward, instead of aft, down the walkway. Additionally, the door was equipped with a secondary door stop mounted on the upper surface of the right wing almost directly in line with the lower outer edge of the door. Examination of the secondary stop revealed that it exhibited compression buckling and was bent forward and to the right from its usual mounted position, indicating the flight instructor may have tripped on the stop, causing it to buckle. However, interviews with the operator revealed the flight instructor would often jump off the front of the airplane wing to put on propeller locks when securing them for the night, indicating that he would sometimes not use the walkway for exiting the airplane.

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

The flight instructor's decision to exit the airplane on the taxiway with the engine still operating, and his failure to avoid the rotating propeller.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug2010 | Index of months