Thursday, September 1, 2016

Cessna 170, N1726D: Accident occurred August 31, 2016 at Range Regional Airport (KHIB), Hibbing, Saint Louis County, Minnesota

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Minneapolis FSDO-15

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA343
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 31, 2016 in Hibbing, MN
Aircraft: CESSNA 170A, registration: N1726D
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 31, 2016, about 1300 central daylight time, a Cessna model 170A single-engine airplane, N1726D, was substantially damaged while landing on runway 31 at Range Regional Airport (HIB), Hibbing, Minnesota. The private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight. The accident flight's departure airport and time are currently unconfirmed.

HIBBING — The investigation into what caused a small plane to crash at Range Regional Airport (RRA) Wednesday afternoon has begun.

Barrett Ziemer, assistant director of the Chisholm-Hibbing Airport Authority (CHAA), confirmed Thursday that a safety inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) office in Minneapolis had arrived and began digging into the incident.

“The investigation is underway,” he said, adding he had spent part of the day with the inspector. “… It’s pretty much a routine investigation.”

Ziemer noted the inspector is acting on behalf of both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The investigation thus far included looking over the aircraft, visiting where it went off the runway, looking through pilot logbooks and speaking with Hibbing police, who documented and photographed the site. Some additional information is still being sought, Ziemer said.

“At this point, the aircraft has been released back to its owner,” he said.

The pilot, identified as Side Lake resident Randy Beissel, was the plane's only occupant and is still recovering at a Duluth hospital. Extent of his injuries in unknown.

The Cessna 170 flew off the runway while trying to land and landed in the grass just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Beissel had appeared to be “doing touch and go practices” when the plane took a nosedive.

Wind is believed to be a factor, according to CHAA Executive Director Shaun Germolus. The plane landed about 75 feet off the edge of the pavement.

Beissel was conscious and later flown by Lifelink III to Duluth.

Response by emergency services was quick, Germolus said, and included airport personnel, Hibbing Fire Department, Hibbing Police Department and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.

There was no fire in the incident, but fuel leaked from the plane, according to fire officials.

Operations at RRA were back to normal by late afternoon Wednesday, said Germolus.

“We’re back to business as usual,” he said Thursday.

Germolus anticipates calling a briefing session of emergency responders to review the incident in the near future.

“We’ll take a look at how it went, and see if we can learn a couple of things,” he added.


HIBBING, Minn. -  The Hibbing Fire Department responded at 12:57 p.m. to the report of a small general aviation plane crash.

The department responded with two engines, a battalion Chief vehicle and one medic unit.

The plane was reported to have crashed while landing and was confirmed to have one occupant, the pilot.

There was no fire, but there was fuel leaking from the plane. The Range Regional Airport ARFF fire truck responded and applied a blanket of foam to keep the fuels from igniting.

The male was flown by Life Link 3 helicopter to Duluth for injuries sustained during the crash. Airport staff says wind might have played a factor in the accident.

"This is the first time in 10 years we've experienced an aircraft accident here at this airport," said Airport Executive Director Shawn Germolus. "We're happy with the quick response today."

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Hibbing, MN ( - A small plane crashed on a runway shortly before 1:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at Hibbing's Range Regional Airport, injuring the pilot, according to police.

The pilot was the only person in the plane at the time, and is from the Iron Range area.

The extent of the pilot's injuries are unknown, however, the man was flown by Life Link 3 to a Duluth hospital for precautionary purposes.

Airport Executive Director Shaun Germolus says the pilot has facial injuries, and was conscious throughout the event.

According to the Hibbing Fire Department, the plane crashed near the runway before landing in grass just south of the runway.

Germolus says the crash likely happened after a wing got caught on the grass because of the wind.

The plane did not burn, however fuel was leaking from the plane after the crash, and fire crews applied a foam blanket to keep fuels from burning.

Authorities have documented the scene, and have removed the Cessna aircraft from the site and brought it to an aircraft hangar before being investigated by the NTSB on Thursday.

The runway at the airport was temporarily closed, but reopened at 4:30 p.m. when the scene was cleared.

Germolus says this is the first crash that has happened during his ten years at the airport.

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