On April 23, 1994, at 0830 central daylight time, a Bellanca 7GCAA, N86862, was destroyed during a simulated forced landing near Azle, Texas. The certificated flight instructor sustained minor injuries while his pilot rated student was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area for the instructional flight.

According to the instructor pilot, the airplane departed from Hicks Field near Fort Worth, Texas, for an aircraft checkout flight in the local area. After the upper air work portion of the checkout flight was completed, the instructor gave the student a series of simulated power losses.

The instructor pilot stated that after power was added to terminate the simulated forced landing, he looked to his left to locate the airport. During the descent "a terrific downdraft hit us and I looked forward just in time to see the airplane hit the tree." The instructor pilot added that the impact ruptured the right fuel cell and a post impact fire consumed the airplane.

The student pilot reported that during the simulated forced landing the instructor pilot took the controls and said, "no, you do it like this," and banked the aircraft hard to the right, then back to the left toward the clearing. He further reported, as he rolled the aircraft to the left, they crossed a fence line at the end of the clearing at approximately 200 feet. The rate of descent went from 500 feet per minute "to some very large negative number. Full power was applied, the wings rolled level and the sound of the engine RPM seemed to be increasing normally, but we continued to sink into the tree tops at the edge of the clearing until we crashed."

A review of the airframe and engine records by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, did not reveal any anomalies or uncorrected maintenance defects prior to the flight.

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