FTW97LA089
FTW97LA089

On January 26, 1997, at 1210 central standard time, a Piper PA-38-112, N2422N, operated by Southwind Aviation as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight, impacted terrain following a loss of control during a go-around from runway 17 at Brownsville International Airport, Brownsville, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight and a flight plan was not filed. The student pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Brownsville, Texas, at 1030.

During interviews, conducted by the investigator-in charge, the student pilot, the operator, and the ATC controller reported the following information. The student pilot had completed all the requirements for solo including emergency procedures and go-around procedures and this was the students third solo training flight. The pilot completed the preflight inspection, started the airplane, and taxied the airplane for departure on runway 13R. The pilot was informed of the displaced thresholds on runway 13R and runway 17 when he monitored the ATIS over the aircraft radio. The pilot flew the airplane to a local area where he practiced airwork, including stalls. Upon returning to the airport, the student pilot was cleared for landing on runway 17 (displaced threshold of 2,600 feet). During the final approach with full flaps (37 degrees), the airplane started "dropping" from approximately 100 feet AGL and the pilot added 1/2 throttle; however, the added power "did not stop the drop." Upon making a go-around decision, the pilot added full power and retracted the flaps to 21 degrees. Subsequently, the left wing of the airplane hit the dirt and the airplane spun around 150 degrees before coming to rest in the grass at the side of the runway. Structural damage occurred to the wings, right landing gear, nose gear, and the engine mounts. The student stated that he had not done a go-around with an instructor; however, during a previous solo flight, he made a go-around from 400 feet AGL during an approach for runway 31. This was the student's first go-around from a low altitude.

The ATC ground Controller reported observing the airplane "losing altitude while on short final to runway 17 at about midfield, where the threshold was relocated." The airplane banked to the right and to the left with the left wing impacting the ground first, followed by the nose and then the right wing.

On the Pilot/Operator Report, the student pilot stated that "while attempting a go-around the aircraft stalled [with] the left wing impacting the ground." He further reported that the purpose of the "go-around was due to a high rate of sink on final."

Winds at 1156 were from 170 degrees at 13 knots gusting to 22 knots. At 1215 the winds were from 160 degrees at 13 knots with gust to 22 knots. The pilot reported the winds from 150 at 10 knots with gust to 20 knots at the time of the accident.

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