Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cessna 170A, N1214D: Accident occurred August 03, 2017 near Canyonlands Field Airport (KCNY), Moab, Grand County, Utah

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Moab, UT
Accident Number: GAA17CA468
Date & Time: 08/03/2017, 1950 MDT
Registration: N1214D
Aircraft: CESSNA 170
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Windshear or thunderstorm
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

According to the pilot, he and his passenger were waiting in the fixed-base operator building for the storm system to pass.

When the storm system appeared to have passed and the wind had calmed significantly, the pilot checked the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) and took off on runway 21.

During the initial climb, the pilot observed "Just beyond the end of the pavement was the obvious sign of a small microburst developing with blowing dust curling up in several different directions centered just to the right of the centerline, and it was growing spreading out quickly".

The pilot was able to climb about 400ft before encountering the wind at the departure end of the runway.

He made a slight left turn to avoid powerlines and performed a forced landing.

The airplane landed hard and sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage and the empennage.

The Special METAR, reported that about the time of the accident the wind was from 280° at 23 knots gusting to 34 knots. The visibility was10 statute miles with light rain. There were few clouds at 3,500 feet and the ceiling was broken at 9,000 feet and 11,000 feet. The temperature was 84°F and the dew point was 45°F. The altimeter setting was 30.06 inches of mercury. The peak wind was from 10° at 40 knots at 1903 MDT and the wind shifted direction at 1910 MDT. The rain began at 1958 MDT with trace precipitation. The density altitude was 7,164ft.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident 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 pilot's improper decision to depart in unfavorable weather conditions, which resulted in a hard, forced landing. 


Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Sudden wind shift - Effect on operation
Downdraft - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Enroute-climb to cruise
Windshear or thunderstorm (Defining event)

Off-field or emergency landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 46, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/20/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/13/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 12169 hours (Total, all aircraft), 633 hours (Total, this make and model), 7968 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 130 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1214D
Model/Series: 170 A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1950
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 19768
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/13/2016, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3309 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-300-A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCNY, 4560 ft msl
Observation Time: 0130 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 337°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3500 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 7°C
Lowest Ceiling:  Broken / 9000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 23 knots/ 34 knots, 280°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Rain
Departure Point: Moab, UT (CNY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: DUCHESNE, UT (U69)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1948 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Unknown
Airport Elevation: 4557 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough; Vegetation
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7100 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 38.729722, -109.751944 (est)

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