Monday, May 29, 2017

Cessna 162 Skycatcher, N6047W: Accident occurred July 16, 2015 near Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport (KDKK), New York




The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N6047W







NTSB Identification: ERA15LA269
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 16, 2015 in Dunkirk, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA AIRCRAFT CO 162, registration: N6047W
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the light sport airplane had completed two touch-and-go takeoffs and landings in the airport traffic pattern. During the third takeoff, the right door opened at an altitude about 400 ft above ground level. Seated in the left seat, the pilot attempted to reach across the cockpit and close the door, but could not reach the handle. He stated that the airplane “did not want to fly,” and “began to sink” before it impacted trees. A witness stated that the airplane was in an “aggressive” nose-up attitude just before impact.

Postaccident examination of the airplane, including the right door latch, revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot’s operating handbook for the airplane stated that, in the event of a door opening in flight, the pilot should not attempt to close the door and should land normally as soon as practical. It is likely that the pilot became distracted by the open door during flight, and, in his attempt to close the door at low altitude, the airplane became too slow, exceeded its critical angle of attack, and experienced an aerodynamic stall. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while attempting to close an open cabin door, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and experiencing an aerodynamic stall.




On July 16, 2015, about 1115 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 162, N6047W, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain after takeoff from Chautauqua County/Dunkirk Airport (DKK), Dunkirk, New York. The private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. 

A witness located at the airport observed the airplane during its initial climb after takeoff. He stated that, at an altitude about 100-200 feet, the airplane made an "abrupt" left turn, lost altitude, then pitched to a nose-up attitude. He then observed the airplane lose altitude and pitch up a second time, and stated that the airplane was in an "aggressive" nose-up pitch attitude as it sank below the tree line and out of his view. 

The pilot reported to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that he conducted a preflight inspection of the airplane and observed no anomalies. He then conducted two touch-and-go takeoffs and landings in the airport traffic pattern before the accident takeoff. On the third takeoff, during climbout from runway 6, the airplane's right cabin door opened at an altitude about 400 feet. The pilot attempted to reach across the right seat and close the door, but could not reach the handle. He stated that the airplane "did not want to fly" and "began to sink." The airplane subsequently impacted trees and the pilot egressed.

The airplane came to rest upright, in a nose-down attitude among trees about one mile northeast of runway 6 at DKK. Postaccident examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to both left and right wings and the fuselage. The fuel tank sight glasses indicated that each fuel tank was about one-quarter full. Control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. Impact damage precluded a functional test of the right door latches; however, visual inspection revealed no anomalies. 

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. He reported 420 total hours of flight experience, of which 90 hours were in the accident airplane make and model. 

The airplane was manufactured in 2011 and was equipped with a Continental Motors Inc., O-200 series, 100 hp reciprocating engine. Its most recent condition inspection was completed December 14, 2014. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accrued 90 total hours of operation. 

According to the pilot's operating handbook for the airplane, a pilot should not attempt to close an open cabin door inflight. The written procedure stated that the pilot should leave the door open, reduce throttle as necessary for an airspeed below 80 knots, secure seatbelts and loose items in the cockpit, and land as soon as practical. Landings with an open door were to be performed normally.

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