NTSB Identification: ERA12FA540
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 01, 2012 in Falmouth, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2014
Aircraft: CIRRUS DESIGN CORP SR22, registration: N221DV
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Serious.

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.

During the cross-country instructional flight in the side-stick airplane, with the student pilot on the controls in the left seat and the flight instructor in the right seat, the airplane entered the landing pattern. During the final approach, witnesses saw the airplane drifting to the left while descending at a relatively high sink rate. Witnesses heard the power being adjusted, and, close to the ground, the engine went to high power. The airplane’s nose rose, and the airplane veered to the left. The airplane touched down left wing down off the runway in grass, heading about 40 degrees left of the runway centerline. It then entered woods, where it hit numerous trees and came to rest upside down and on fire. The student pilot stated that he thought the instructor was on the flight controls with him as had happened during previous flights. He also recalled the instructor pointing to the airspeed indicator on final approach and took it to mean that the airplane was slow. Although the instructor had previously used positive passing of controls on other flights, neither the student pilot nor the passenger recalled hearing him say anything during the final approach. The student pilot indicated that at some point he was not sure who was flying, although, after the accident, witnesses heard him saying multiple times that he was sorry he “did that.” Examination of the wreckage revealed no preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. Wind, as recorded at a nearby airport, was from slightly left of runway heading at 15 knots, gusting to 18 knots. Five of the instructor’s seven private pilot candidates failed their initial practical test, which went unnoticed by his flight school. However, none of the failures were due to poor landings, all the candidates passed on their second try, and all interviewed had positive words about the instructor. One of the instructor’s previous students indicated that he had ridden the controls with her as well. The instructor had been known to work extra hours, but there was no evidence that he was fatigued during the flight. The instructor likely also had a discussion with a principal of the flight school that resulted in him arriving late for the flight, but there was no indication that it distracted him during the approach. The instructor was responsible for the safety of the flight and, as such, should have effected positive remedial action before the student pilot was able to put the airplane in an unrecoverable position.

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

The flight instructor’s inadequate remedial action. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s poor control of the airplane during the approach.

Full narrative available

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