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Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative: The flight instructor and student pilot departed on a planned 3-hour instructional flight. While en route, the flight instructor stated that he wanted to show the student that there was more to flying than just training and that flying was also “fun.” The pilots subsequently turned the airplane toward a large river valley in mountainous terrain. The pilots flew into an area of rapidly rising terrain and realized they needed to climb to avoid terrain. The flight instructor applied full power and pitched the airplane up into a climb; however, the terrain rose faster than the airplane was climbing. The flight instructor instructed the student pilot to start a right turn. Shortly thereafter, he felt the turn was too slow, and he took control of the airplane. The flight instructor stated that things were happening too fast for him to recover the airplane. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a box canyon, with ridgelines between 100 feet to several hundred feet higher than the accident site. Postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The flight instructor's decision to fly into a valley without ensuring adequate clearance to avoid the rising terrain.