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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA17LA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 08, 2017 in Abbeville, AL
Aircraft: GROB AIRCRAFT AG G120TP-A, registration: N196TP
Injuries: 2 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 8, 2017, about 1340 central standard time, a Grob Aircraft AG G120TP-A, N196TP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing while maneuvering at Abbeville Municipal Airport (0J0), Abbeville, Alabama. The flight instructor and a pilot receiving instruction sustained serious injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by CAE USA, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed and activated. The local flight originated about 1304 from Dothan Regional Airport, Dothan, Alabama.

The flight instructor stated that a preflight inspection was performed and no discrepancies were reported. The flight departed with about 1/2 capacity fuel load and flew near Lake Eufaula where in accordance with the operator's upset recovery training checklist, the crew awareness system circuit breaker was pulled. The pilot receiving instruction performed the maneuvers, and at the conclusion, the flight instructor took the controls and flew to 0J0, where he intended to demonstrate a practice power off procedure terminating with a low pass. The flight instructor entered the maneuver (high key) at 2,400 feet, with the power lever at flight idle and the condition (propeller) control at low, and maintained 100 knots while turning crosswind and downwind. He lowered the landing gear and at the low key position (abeam the landing threshold), the airplane was 1,200 feet above ground level. The pilot receiving instruction stated that he smelled fuel, and the flight instructor turned onto the base leg of the traffic pattern, though he did not smell fuel at that time. They both then noted a vapor from the right side of the engine, followed by a puff of white smoke. The flight instructor noted a total loss of engine power, with a resulting 10 knots decrease in airspeed and corresponding increase in descent rate, though there was no audible annunciation. The pilot receiving instruction attempted to restart the engine and he advanced the power and condition levers full forward, but the engine did not respond. While over trees unable to reach the runway, the flight instructor maintained controlled flight until the airplane collided with trees, then the ground. Both pilots exited the airplane, and after notifying the operator of the accident, they walked to the airport and were taken to a hospital for treatment.

The wreckage was secured for further examination. In addition, onboard devices that recorded flight and engine related data were retained and forwarded to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for read-out.