On September 25, 1993, at 1430 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech A-36, N7246Z, collided with terrain at Firebaugh Airport, Firebaugh, California. The pilots were conducting a local visual flight rules instructional flight. The airplane, registered to and operated by the certificated private pilot receiving instruction, herein referred to as the dual student, sustained substantial damage. Neither the certificated airline transport pilot/flight instructor (CFI) nor the dual student were injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Fresno Air Terminal, Fresno, California, at 1230 hours. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
Mr. Robert Follet, Wofford Flying Service, Fresno, California, told Safety Board investigators that the dual student was performing a soft field takeoff at the time of the accident. The airplane lifted off and then the stall warning horn activated. The airplane began to settle and the CFI took the controls to arrest the stall/mush, but without success. The airplane struck the ground and exited the runway.
The dual student submitted the required Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, together with a Statement of Incident. In the statement, he reported that the flight was part of a Bonanza Society Flight Proficiency Class which was conducted over a three-day period. Certified flight instructors provided ground and flight training for the participants.
While in the practice area, the CFI instructed the pilot to perform various maneuvers. The flight then proceeded to Los Banos Airport where the dual student performed normal and short field takeoffs and landings and then flew to Firebaugh Airport.
After landing at Firebaugh, the dual student returned to the departure end of the landing runway. When the airplane approached the runway threshold, while still on the taxiway, the CFI instructed the dual student execute a soft field takeoff. When approaching the hold short line, the dual student applied full power and pulled back on the yoke and turned onto the runway. The dual student then said, "The airplane appeared to be a little left of center line with a nose up attitude."
Almost immediately the CFI then said, "It's my plane, I have the plane." The airplane continued down the runway in a nose-up attitude and it drifted to the right of the centerline. The CFI pushed the nose down, but the airplane had already exited the runway and the nose gear became entangled with weeds between three and four feet high.
The CFI reportedly told the dual student immediately after the accident that, "I am sorry this happened Ernie, since I am pilot-in-command, I take full responsibility for this."
Mr. Jim Hallows, Aviation Safety Inspector (Operations), Fresno Flight Standards District Office, reported that he administered a reexamination of the CFI on October 20, 1993. The CFI told him that he was pilot-in-command during the referenced accident flight. The CFI also stated that "he had just let things go too far before attempting to take corrective action."
The CFI did not file the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, as required by Title 49 CFR 830.