The commercial pilot, who was the owner of the Ryan Navion, was receiving a flight review from an instructor who was not familiar with the airplane make and model.
The pilot noted they did not discuss the potential differences between the Navion and the airplanes the instructor typically flew before the flight.
After departing, they flew to a nearby airport to perform touch-and-go landings. The pilot was performing the first approach for landing in gusty wind conditions. About 100′ above the runway, the flight instructor took control of the airplane. The airplane landed hard and bounced back into the air. The pilot applied full engine power in an attempt to avoid a stall when the flight instructor yelled “hands off the yoke.”
The plane subsequently experienced an aerodynamic stall/spin and hit terrain near Westhampton Beach, N.Y. The flight instructor and a passenger died in the crash.
Post-accident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
The pilot stated that the design of the airplane resulted in a “sight picture” during the landing approach that appeared “very steep.”
He added that, although slipping with the wing flaps fully extended is prohibited in many airplanes, such a maneuver is not prohibited in the Navion.
The pilot opined that the abnormal sight picture observed during the landing approach and his slipping of the airplane with the flaps extended may have caused the instructor to “feel the need to take control of the aircraft at such a critical point in flight.”
FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 61-98D provides information for pilots and flight instructors to use when complying with the requirements of the flight review. The AC states that, before giving a flight review in an unfamiliar aircraft, an instructor should obtain recent flight experience in that aircraft or sufficient knowledge of its limitations, characteristics, and performance.
Although the reason that the instructor took control of the airplane could not be determined, it is likely he felt the pilot was performing an unsafe maneuver that required intervention. However, it is possible he interpreted the pilot’s actions as unsafe due to his lack of familiarity with the airplane and its operating characteristics.
Probable cause: The flight instructor’s exceedance of the critical angle of attack during a go-around, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor’s failure to familiarize himself with the flight characteristics of the unfamiliar airplane before conducting the flight review.
NTSB Identification: ERA17FA115
This February 2017 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.