NTSB Identification: ERA11CA450
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2011 in Elkins, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N5399Q
Injuries: 3 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 certified flight instructor (CFI) directed the student pilot to perform a touch-and-go landing. During climb out, the CFI informed the student they would be conducting some mountain flying and instructed him to climb straight ahead over a ridge line. Upon clearing the ridge line, the CFI directed the student to make a right turn into a canyon. After entering the canyon, the CFI realized he was in the wrong area and the airplane would be unable to clear the ridge line in front of them. He took control of the airplane and made a left turn towards the left side of the canyon. He then initiated a hard right turn and realized there was insufficient room to reverse course. He leveled the wings of the airplane and it collided with the trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage and came to rest on the side of the ridge. The CFI stated there were no mechanical problems with the airplane and he was unfamiliar with the geographic area.

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

The flight instructor's unfamiliarity with the geographic area, resulting in controlled flight into terrain.

Full narrative available

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