Thursday, April 05, 2018

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N1438U; accident occurred April 05, 2018 at Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), Alameda County, California

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Livermore, CA
Accident Number: GAA18CA201
Date & Time: 04/05/2018, 1200 PDT
Registration: N1438U
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 


The flight instructor reported that, while the student pilot was landing, a wind gust pushed the airplane to the left side of the runway about 10 ft off the ground. The flight instructor took the flight controls and added full power to go around. Subsequently, the airplane bounced, the left main landing gear "caught onto something" on the ground, and the airplane spun around. The left wing struck the ground and the nose landing gear collapsed.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing.

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

The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 7 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 290° at 6 knots. The airplane was landing on runway 25L. 

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 runway centerline and flight instructor's delayed remedial action during landing.


Heading/course - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

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

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Abnormal runway contact
Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing gear collapse

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 23, 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 Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/16/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/02/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 987 hours (Total, all aircraft), 891 hours (Total, this make and model), 914 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 190 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 95 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 20, 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 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/23/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 38 hours (Total, all aircraft), 38 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N1438U
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17267105
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/27/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4533.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E2D
Registered Owner: HALEY, ROBERT JAY
Rated Power: 150 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: KLVK, 393 ft msl
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 76°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 2°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 12000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:  6 knots, 290°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: LIVERMORE, CA (LVK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: LIVERMORE, CA (LVK)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1145 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 399 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 25L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2699 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 37.691944, -121.819444 (est)

LIVERMORE — No injuries were reported after a single-engine plane crash landed at the Livermore Municipal Airport Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

A plane crashed on a runway at Livermore Municipal Airport on Thursday. No one was injured, fire officials said. Courtesy of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department

The crash was reported about 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

Livermore-Pleasant Fire Department Battalion Chief Aaron Lacey said the single-engine Cessna bounced while attempting to land on a runway and ended up on its nose partially off the runway.

The pilot and passenger were not injured and there was no fire, he said.

The crash shutdown the runway and taxiway, officials said.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. Hope that bird will fly again someday. I love the Cessna 172's from the 1970's, pretty planes!