On October 11, 1997, at 1500 hours Hawaiian standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N836FC, veered off runway 21 and overturned after making a hard landing at the Lanai City, Hawaii, airport, while practicing touch-and-go landings. The aircraft was owned by Helicopter Consultants of Maui, Inc., and was rented to the pilot. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The airline transport rated pilot and non-rated passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the local personal flight which included calm wind conditions.

The pilot reported that after takeoff from the first touch-and-go he gave his passenger ". . .permission to have a light touch on the yoke to enable him to feel what I was doing." Until he went to raise the nose for landing, the pilot had felt no pressure on the yoke from the passenger. "I had been explaining everything I was doing but when I told the passenger that I was raising the nose for landing he aggressively pushed the yoke forward. I was only able to pull the nose up before we impacted the runway." The pilot stated that he had asked his passenger why he had done that and the passenger explained to him that, ". . .he just reacted automatically because of his extensive experience flying ultra lights where you have to push out to raise the nose. He thought I was having trouble raising the nose because the yoke wasn't going in."

The passenger stated that, "as we were on final, [the pilot] mentioned he [was] going to raise the nose. My hands were still on the yoke but I did not realize that I was pushing the nose down." The passenger further stated "My reflex and not allowing [the pilot] to pull on the yoke caused the plane to crash on the [runway]."

Witnesses to the accident reported that as the aircraft got close to the runway it dropped about 50 to 60 feet straight down to the ground. Both witnesses reported that weather was not a factor in this accident.

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