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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA16CA312
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 10, 2016 in Gilmer, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N6700J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The flight instructor reported that he was providing simulated engine failure (SEF) training, with a left 180 degree turn, to the student pilot. He reported that during the second SEF, he cut the power and the student pilot slowly made a left turn from downwind to base. The flight instructor recalled that the student "cut the base leg short" and turned toward the end of the runway. He reported that the airplane was about 25 degrees to the left of the runway centerline, the sun was setting and they failed to see the powerline wires. The airplane struck the wires and fell to the ground sustaining substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

The flight instructor reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with any portion of the airplane that would have precluded normal flight operations.

As a recommendation the flight instructor reported that due to the calm wind, he should have switched to the reciprocal runway to mitigate the sun's position during landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot's failure to see and avoid powerlines during landing, and the flight instructor's delayed remediation when the student cut the base to final turn short, resulting in a wire strike and collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's lack of vigilance in monitoring the area for hazards, and the low light condition.