Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N474SP, registered to and operated by Goddard Aircraft Club Inc: Accident occurred November 30, 2017 near Freeway Airport (W00), Bowie, Prince George's County, Maryland

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Goddard Aircraft Club Inc:

Location: Bowie, MD
Accident Number: GAA18CA074
Date & Time: 11/30/2017, 1745 EST
Registration: N474SP
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that, during approach to land in night conditions, he noticed that the airspeed displayed on a newly installed electronic flight instrument was reading slightly different than the airspeed indicator. He added that his altitude judgement was affected "by the scarcity of observable objects in the landing area, the "black hole" effect, which was likely worsened by the brightness of the [electronic instrument]". When the pilot looked up from the instrument panel, he saw tree branches approaching. The airplane struck the trees and came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/27/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 345 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 300 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N474SP
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S8020
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/08/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines:  1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5890.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: CGS, 48 ft msl
Observation Time: 2246 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 6°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 130°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:

No Obscuration; No Precipitation

Departure Point: Ocean City, MD (OXB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Bowie, MD (W00)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1610 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: FREEWAY (W00)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 168 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2420 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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:  38.945556, -76.773333 (est)

A single-engine plane crashed in a field in Bowie Thursday evening, Maryland State Police said, leaving the pilot injured but alert and able walk out of the woods.

At around 6:20 p.m., police found the Cessna 172 upside down in the trees in the field off Church Road at Fairview Vista Road.

The pilot, Michael Paul Pillsbury, 72, of Washington, D.C., was returning from Ocean City and trying to make the final approach to Freeway Airport, police said. Pillsbury told troopers there was no lighting and he could not see the tree line. The plane hit the tree line, overturned and crashed.

Pillsbury was taken to University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. No signs of impairment were observed, police said.

There were no other injuries and no signs of fuel leakage or hazardous materials, police said. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The plane will remain in the field overnight until arrangements can be made for a salvage company to remove it, police said.

Earlier this month a Marine Corps pilot made an emergency crash landing on the ramp off Interstate 97 near Annapolis. The pilot and two children aboard were not injured. They were returning to Tipton Airport.

Original article ➤

BOWIE, Md. - A small plane crashed nearby an airport in Prince George’s County Thursday evening, the Federal Aviation Administration says.

According to officials, a Cessna C172 aircraft crashed in a field about a half-mile north of Freeway Airport in Bowie at around 6:20 p.m. The male pilot was the only person onboard the plane.

Maryland State Police say the pilot was returning from Ocean City and was attempting his final approach to the airport when his plane made contact with a tree line causing the aircraft to overturn and crash.

The pilot was alert, responsive and able to walk out of the woods, police say. He was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Story, video and photo gallery ➤

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