SEA97LA121
SEA97LA121

On May 26, 1997, approximately 1315 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-201, N30563, experienced a hard landing during a simulated power loss on takeoff at Pocatello Regional Airport, Pocatello, Idaho. The certified flight instructor and the private pilot, who was receiving instruction toward his commercial rating, were not injured, but the aircraft, which was owned by Skyriders, Inc., sustained substantial damage. The round-robin instructional cross-country flight was departing Pocatello in visual meteorological conditions, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to the instructor pilot, the aircraft was about 150 feet above the ground when he pulled the power to idle in order to simulate a complete power loss. He said that the student did not lower the nose soon enough to keep the airspeed from deteriorating, and as the aircraft descended toward the runway, the instructor realized that the "...rate of descent was too great..." He therefore added full power "...in an attempt to slow or stop the descent." According to the instructor, the student was unable to arrest the high rate of descent, and "Seconds after adding full power, the aircraft impacted the runway in a normal nose high attitude..." The instructor said that he did not take over control of the aircraft, and other than his addition of power, "...the student remained at the controls."

After the hard landing, neither pilot realized that the aircraft had been damaged, so they added power and continued the takeoff. At about 400 feet above the ground, the instructor noticed the right wing top skin bulging upward near the point where the landing gear attaches to the wing spar. Upon discovering the damage to the wing, the flight instructor terminated the flight and made an uneventful landing.

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