NTSB Identification: WPR11FA383
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 15, 2011 in Silver Bow, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N2584N
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

The operator stated that the flight instructor indicated that the purpose of the instructional flight was to have the student conduct a series of touch-and-go landings before proceeding to the training area where he intended on having the student practice steep turns, turns around a point, and holding a level altitude. A witness located near the accident site reported seeing the airplane flying in a clockwise horizontal circle with the wings almost vertical, while slowly losing altitude. The airplane appeared to be attempting to straighten out and climb when it then went straight down in a nosedive. A second witness observed the airplane spinning to the right before descending. The witness reported that before losing sight of the airplane, it appeared to be pulling up. Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with a right wing low and nose low impact. Postaccident examination of the airframe, flight control system, and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. From the witness observations, it is likely that the airplane entered a spin and the pilot was not able to regain control. It could not be determined who was at the flight controls at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control while maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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