This July 2009 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 Warrior. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Purcell, Okla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing simulated loss of engine power. He finished the practice approach, then flew to the north. Witnesses on the ground saw the airplane flying north to south about 30 feet above the river. The airplane climbed and headed toward a bridge. The airplane then descended back down into the river bottom, hit power lines that crossed over the river, and then came to rest in the river about one mile south of the bridge. Portions of the horizontal stabilizer and the wing had separated from the fuselage. The pilot was seriously injured. An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to see and avoid the power lines.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN09CA479