Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N4491R, registered to and operated by Monroe Aviation School of Flight: Accident occurred December 21, 2017 at Custer Airport (KTTF), Monroe County, Michigan

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location:  Monroe, MI
Accident Number: GAA18CA097
Date & Time: 12/21/2017, 1100 EST
Registration: N4491R
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 


The flight instructor reported that, the student pilot began to flare for a touch-and-go landing, when a wind gust yawed the airplane to the left. He added that the wind "dropped out", and the airplane landed hard with the nose low, which resulted in a nose landing gear collapse.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings.

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

A review of recorded data from the automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 5 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 140° at 6 knots. The flight instructor reported that the wind was variable at 10 knots, gusting 20 knots. The airplane landed on runway 21. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's improper yaw control during the landing flare and the flight instructor's failure to take remedial action, which resulted in a hard landing.


Yaw control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)
Delayed action - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Hard landing (Defining event)
Landing gear collapse

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/31/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/01/2016
Flight Time: (Estimated) 8120 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7935 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 21, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/22/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 60 hours (Total, all aircraft), 60 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N4491R
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17263233
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/15/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6075 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2G
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTTF, 612 ft msl
Observation Time: 1555 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 205°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C / -4°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 9000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots, 140°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Monroe, MI (TTF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Monroe, MI (TTF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: CUSTER (TTF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 615 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4997 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Touch and Go 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  41.943611, -83.432778 (est)

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