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Fri, Sep 18, 2009

NTSB Probable Cause Report Released In 2008 California Accident

Student Pilot Killed When He Walked Into A Spinning Prop

The NTSB has concluded that 26-year-old Wei Jin did not see a spinning propeller into which he walked, killing him on November 15th 2008. Jin was a student pilot at the Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, and had ridden with his roommate, Jia Li , also a student at SAA, on a cross-country flight. In the report, Li is referred to as 'first pilot', and Jin 'second pilot'.

The the probable cause report states:
On November 15, 2008, about 1750 Pacific standard time, the student pilot associated with the operations of a Cessna 152, N45994, was killed after exiting the airplane and inadvertently contacting the propeller, at the Atwater/Castle Airport (MER), Atwater, California. The airplane was registered to KS Aviation, Inc. and operated by Sierra Academy of Aeronautics under the provisions of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The first student pilot, who was seated in the left seat and manipulating the controls at the time of the accident, was not injured. The airplane was not damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that originated from Visalia Municipal Airport (VIS), Visalia, California, at 1625, with an intended destination of MER.

For the purposes of this report, the student pilot manipulating the flight controls at the time of the accident is referred to as the first pilot; the student pilot that exited the airplane (deceased) is referred to as the second pilot.

In a written statement provided to the National Transportation Safety Board, the certified flight instructor (CFI) of both students reported scheduling the second student pilot for a solo cross country the morning of the accident. Before the flight, the CFI met with the second student pilot at the airport to check weather and endorse his logbook. The CFI watched the second student pilot walk to the ramp to preflight the airplane and then left the airport premises.

In a written statement, the first pilot stated he waited on the first floor of the air traffic control tower while the second pilot was dispatched the airplane. When the flight instructor left the airport premises, the first pilot walked onto the ramp and joined the second pilot for the cross-county flight. When departing MER the second pilot was positioned in the left seat and manipulating the flight controls. After landing at VIS, the student pilots switched seats for the return flight to MER.

After landing, the second student pilot taxied the airplane toward the ramp. The first pilot stated that prior to reaching the parking area, the second student pilot, concerned about being seen by flight school personnel, instructed him to taxi the airplane to the designated parking area, and then he exited the airplane. The first pilot reported that after exiting the airplane, the second student pilot ran toward the front of the airplane and was struck by the turning propeller.

According to U.S. Naval Observatory data, sunset occurred at 1652.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov


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