Factual Report: TBM instructional flight ends with uncommanded banking

 - December 7, 2007, 6:48 AM

Socata TBM 700, Lancaster, Calif., Dec. 27, 2005–The new owner of TBM N198X was receiving instruction from a CFI/ATP-rated pilot when the airplane crashed on short final approach to Runway 6 at General William J. Fox Airfield (WJF) in VMC.

The right wing separated from the airframe on impact and the TBM caught fire and was substantially damaged. Both pilots received minor injuries. After maneuvers at altitude, the CFI told the owner to perform a simulated engine-out approach to WJF. The owner reduced engine power to between 8 and 10 percent torque, and the airplane glided toward the airport.

The owner entered a close-in downwind for Runway 6 and was cleared to land. The CFI told the owner to make a “left circle base to the runway.” Lowering the landing gear, the owner asked the CFI if they could glide all the way to the runway.

The CFI said that the airplane was in position to make the landing and told the owner to maintain 90 knots airspeed. During the circling approach, as the airplane turned from base onto approach, the CFI told the owner, “Don’t bank.” The owner rolled the wings level. Immediately thereafter, the left bank began a second time and the CFI again said, “Don’t bank.” The owner replied, “I’m not.”

Neither pilot recalled hearing the stall warning horn or recalled the airplane’s buffeting.

The CFI applied engine power and right rudder. The airplane stopped rolling left, and then rolled into a right bank, whereupon the right wing hit the ground. At no time did the CFI direct his student to release the airplane’s flight controls.