Simulated engine out turns into real emergency

This June 2007  accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Seminole.
Location: Lumberton, N.J.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: A pilot receiving instruction and a CFI were conducting a training flight. As the plane entered the traffic pattern, the instructor initiated engine failure by shutting off the fuel to the left engine. The approach was normal until touch down, when the CFI advised the student to perform a go-around. The airplane began to drift left. The CFI took the controls but was unable to maintain directional control. The  airplane went off the runway into rough terrain, substantially damaging the airplane. The flight instructor reported he must have “forgotten to turn the fuel back on” during the go-around.

Probable cause: The CFI’s improper decision to simulate an engine failure in the traffic pattern by cutting off fuel to the engine, and his subsequent failure to maintain directional control during an aborted landing.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20070808X01138&ntsbno=NYC07CA133&akey=1.

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