NTSB Identification: WPR12CA380
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, August 30, 2012 in Wickenburg, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N309PA
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 flight instructor said that during a landing, the student pilot flared too high and that he then took over control of the airplane. The airplane landed hard, and the tail tie-down hook struck the runway and was displaced into the fuselage, substantially damaging the aft bulkhead. Although the instructor conducted a postflight inspection of the airplane, the damage was not discovered at the time. When the flight instructor performed the next takeoff, he noticed that the elevator flight control was sluggish and minimally responsive, and the airplane’s climb performance was poor. The flight instructor landed the airplane without further incident. The damage was discovered during a subsequent inspection. The flight instructor reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have affected normal operation.

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

The flight instructor’s delayed response in correcting the student pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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