Simulated engine-out approach goes wrong

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The pilot reported that, after he completed an aerial observation flight, he decided to conduct a simulated engine-out approach to an open field near Elk, California.

When the Cessna 175 was about 40 feet above ground level, he aborted the approach by applying full engine power and elevator back pressure. The descent was not immediately arrested, but the airplane seemed to be accelerating.

As the airplane continued to descend, it slipped left, and the left main landing gear hit a bush, which induced more left yaw and loss of lift.

Subsequently, the wing hit vegetation and terrain, and the airplane then cartwheeled and came to rest upright.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to arrest the descent rate during an aborted simulated engine-out approach, which resulted in impact with vegetation and a subsequent cartwheel.

NTSB Identification: WPR20CA055

This December 2019 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.

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