Monday, May 14, 2018

Cessna 170B, N2485D: Accident occurred May 12, 2018 at Zelienople Municipal Airport (KPJC), Beaver County, Pennsylvania

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Allegheny, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Zelienople, PA
Accident Number: GAA18CA278
Date & Time: 05/12/2018, 1100 EDT
Registration: N2485D
Aircraft: CESSNA 170
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane, during the landing roll with the tailwheel on the ground, the airplane may have encountered a wind gust. The airplane exited the runway to the left, and the left main landing gear struck a taxiway sign.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left main landing gear attachment points, the lower fuselage longeron, and the elevator.

The pilot reported that the wind at the airport about the time of the accident was variable at 4 knots and that skies were clear.

The nearest METAR to the accident site, located 11 miles to the west, reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 270° at 8 knots with lightning in the distance to the northwest. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 35.

The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had more quickly applied corrective actions, including increasing right rudder pedal pressure, using more differential braking, and increasing right aileron input.

The pilot reported that there were no 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 failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Sign/marker - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
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: 05/24/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/04/2017
Flight Time:  226.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 42.1 hours (Total, this make and model), 150.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 14.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N2485D
Model/Series: 170 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1952
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 20637
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/28/2018, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3308.9 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONTINENTAL
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C145
Rated Power: 145 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBVI, 1252 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1447 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 259°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Zelienople, PA (PJC)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Zelienople, PA (PJC)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0930 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 897 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4933 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

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: 40.801944, -80.160833 (est)

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