Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Cessna 172RG Cutlass RG, registered to Dulles Aviation and operated by Av-Ed Flight School N9415B: Accident occurred January 21, 2018 at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (KMRB), Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia

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

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:

Location: Martinsburg, WV
Accident Number: ERA18LA067
Date & Time: 01/21/2018, 1304 EST
Registration: N9415B
Aircraft: CESSNA 172RG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On January 21, 2018, at 1304 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172RG airplane, N9415B, sustained substantial damage while landing at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport (MRB), Martinsburg, West Virginia. The flight instructor and the private pilot were not injured. The airplane was registered to Dulles Aviation, Manassas, Virginia, and operated by Av-Ed Flight School, Leesburg, Virginia, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Leesburg Executive Airport (JYO), Leesburg, Virginia, about 1130.

The flight instructor stated that the purpose of the flight was to practice commercial pilot maneuvers and landings. The flight was normal, and they had completed about six short and soft-field takeoffs and landings without incident. On the seventh landing, after the private pilot extended the landing gear, the gear down-and-locked light did not illuminate. A visual check revealed that the nose gear was extended but the main gear was trailing and not fully extended. The flight instructor said they used the manual emergency gear handle to try and pump the main gear down, but there was not enough hydraulic pressure in the system to extend the gear. The flight instructor then landed the airplane with the nose wheel still extended. He said he was able to keep the airplane straight for about 600 ft, but the airplane's left wing dropped resulting in substantial damage to the wing and elevator. After exiting the airplane, hydraulic fluid was observed pooling under the airplane and along the side of the empennage. The hydraulic reservoir was empty.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that an O-ring had failed internally inside the right gear actuator and it was leaking hydraulic fluid. Since the landing gear is extended/retracted by hydraulic pressure, the leak prevented the system from having adequate pressure for the electric pump and the manual gear handle to extend the gear.

At 1306, the weather conditions reported at MRB were calm wind, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds at 3,900 ft, overcast clouds at 7,500 ft, temperature 13° C, dewpoint 5° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury. 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   4056 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 1919 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N9415B
Model/Series: 172RG
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172RG0816
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/22/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3054.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360 F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MRB, 564 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1306 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3900 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 7500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Martinsburg, WV (MRB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Martinsburg, WV (MRB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  EST
Type of Airspace:  Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Eastern West Virginia Regional (MRB)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 564 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 8815 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Precautionary Landing 

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:  39.402222, -77.983056 (est)

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