The flight instructor reported he was providing simulated engine failure (SEF) training, with a left 180° turn, to the student pilot.
During the second SEF, he cut the power and the student pilot slowly made a left turn from downwind to base to the airport in Gilmer, Texas.
The flight instructor recalled that the student “cut the base leg short” and turned toward the end of the runway.
He added the airplane was about 25° to the left of the runway centerline, the sun was setting, and they failed to see the powerline wires.
The Piper PA-28 hit 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, he reported that due to the calm wind, he should have switched to the reciprocal runway to mitigate the sun’s position during landing.
Probable cause: 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.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA312
This June 2016 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.