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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA15LA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Live Oak, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/13/2017
Aircraft: TRICK TRIKES 582 CYCLONE STORM, registration: N993RA
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While flying about 1,000 ft above ground level (agl) during a flight test for the issuance of a sport pilot certificate, the sport pilot examiner instructed the sport pilot applicant to reduce power to idle for a simulated loss of engine power. The applicant chose a suitable field, began a spiral descent, and positioned the weight-shift-control aircraft for the simulated off-airport landing. When the aircraft was about 50 ft agl, the maneuver was terminated, and the examiner told the applicant to add power and go around. The applicant immediately started turning away from the field and then rapidly advanced the throttle. The engine sputtered and did not respond to the throttle input, and the aircraft then impacted trees. The applicant reported that at no time during the descent with the power reduced did he clear the engine nor did he recall the examiner telling him to clear the engine while descending at a reduced power setting. The applicant added that he mistakenly turned the aircraft before adding power and that, if he had not done so, he could have successfully landed it in the field.
Postaccident examination of the aircraft, which included an operational test of the engine, revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The applicant’s failure to clear the engine during the prolonged descent and his subsequent rapid advancement of the throttle after terminating the simulated loss of engine power likely caused excessive fuel in the cylinders, which would have led to the engine’s failure to respond to throttle input.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot applicant’s failure to clear the engine during a prolonged descent of a simulated engine failure and his subsequent rapid throttle input at the completion of the maneuver, which resulted in the engine’s failure to respond. Contributing to the accident was the sport pilot applicant's decision to turn the aircraft away from a suitable landing area before adding power.