Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N738TJ, Glendale Community College: Accident occurred September 30, 2014 at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (KTRM), Thermal, Riverside County, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Glendale Community College:

Location: Thermal, CA
Accident Number: WPR14CA399
Date & Time: 09/30/2014, 1540 PDT
Registration: N738TJ
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


The student pilot reported that after touchdown, during the roll out, the airplane encountered a dust devil. The pilot was unable to maintain directional control and the airplane subsequently departed the runway surface. The airplane pitched down in the soft sand and the right wing was substantially damaged when it struck the ground. The student pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing after an encounter with a dust devil.


Aircraft:  Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Personnel issues:  Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)
Environmental issues:   Dust devil/whirlwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll:
Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 28
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: 
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/29/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:
33.6 hours (Total, all aircraft), 33.6 hours (Total, this make and model), 6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)
Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N738TJ
Model/Series: 172N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17270222
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/28/2014
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9633.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Rated Power: 0 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTRM
Observation Time: 2252 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 4°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots, 140°
Visibility (RVR): 
Altimeter Setting: 29.66 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV): 
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Palm Springs, CA (KPSP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Thermal, CA (KTRM)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1520 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Airport Information

Airport: Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (KTRM)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: -115 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8500 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  33.630000, -116.160000 (est)

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