Monday, January 05, 2015

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N6591H, Marquette County Flying Club Inc: Accident occurred January 05, 2015 at Sawyer International Airport (KSAW), Marquette, Michigan

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Marquette County Flying Club Inc:

NTSB Identification: CEN15CA097 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 05, 2015 in Marquette, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/2015
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N6591H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot planned a local afternoon flight, which included takeoff from a runway covered with patchy snow and ice. Throughout the morning and afternoon prior to the accident, surface wind observations were westerly at 5 to 12 knots.

During takeoff roll on the northerly runway, the pilot stated he encountered a gust of westerly crosswinds and the airplane yawed to the left. Unable to maintain directional control, the pilot aborted the takeoff. The airplane subsequently impacted a snowdrift on the left side of the runway and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot did not maintain directional control during takeoff on the snow and ice covered runway in gusting crosswind conditions.

No one was injured in a single-engine plane accident at Sawyer International Airport this afternoon - and airport officials say the facility is open to private and commercial air traffic.  

Airport officials say the pilot was the only one onboard the Cessna 172 about 3:30 this afternoon when a gust of wind caught the tail of the plane as it was getting up to speed to take off. 

The plane turned sideways and went into a snowbank.   

The runway was closed for about three hours. 

Airport and emergency crews were on hand, righting the plane and cleaning up debris - in frigid temperatures hovering around zero.

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