Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Counting On The Instructor
How long should an instructor wait before correcting a student’s mistake?
The Cirrus SR20 Flight Standards Manual calls for flight crews to "...ensure that at no time the aircraft is operated at an altitude less than 3,000 feet AGL (above ground level). In the event of an inadvertent spin, this will allow the flight crew additional time to execute recovery or CAPS (Cirrus Airframe Parachute System) deployment procedures."
Investigators reviewed 10 additional MFD data files from other aircraft flown by the flight instructor. None of that data showed that the airplanes engaged in maneuvering of the type indicated by data files from the accident flight.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot receiving instructions to correct failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in a stall and loss of control. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision and both pilots' failure to deploy the ballistic parachute at a higher altitude.
A single-engine Diamond DA20-C1 crashed in Payson, Utah, while on a Part 91 dual instructional flight in VFR conditions. The commercial pilot/certified flight instructor and the student pilot were killed. The flight originated at Provo Municipal Airport, Provo, Utah.
Witnesses reported hearing and seeing the airplane descend in a spiral or spin. It made numerous rotations before impacting the driveway of a house. Witnesses said they heard engine sounds. The airplane was operating below radar coverage, and no distress calls were received by FAA facilities or the operator at Provo Airport.
The instructor had flown 28 flights with the student, who was preparing for his private pilot check flight. Maneuvers on that flight were stalls, slow flight and landing pattern. The aircraft wreckage was located directly under airspace designated as a practice area. The floor of the practice area was 7,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), and the upper altitude limit was 10,000 feet. The terrain elevation was approximately 4,530 feet MSL.
The certified flight instructor, 34, held a commercial pilot certificate for airplane single-engine land, airplane multi-engine land, instrument airplane, and a flight instructor certificate for airplane single-engine, and instrument airplane. She had logged 869.8 hours of flight time with 512.7 hours of that as dual instruction given.
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