NTSB Identification: ERA11CA497
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2011 in Okeechobee, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N9249L
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.

According to the certified flight instructor (CFI), the student pilot entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern and reduced the power to idle when the airplane was abeam the runway numbers in order to perform a power-off landing. The airplane slowed to glide speed, and the student pilot selected 10 degrees of flaps and turned onto the base leg. After turning onto final approach, the airplane's airspeed decreased to below 60 knots, and the CFI advised the student pilot to perform a go-around. The CFI then took control of the airplane to prevent an "imminent stall" and applied full power, but the airplane continued to descend. The airplane struck trees and a fence and then impacted the ground. The CFI subsequently reduced the power to idle and applied the brakes. However, the airplane struck another fence, turned 180 degrees, and came to rest in a grassy area to the left of the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage during the accident sequence. The CFI did not report any preexisting mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain the proper glidepath during a power-off landing and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action.

Full narrative available

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