Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cessna 172S Skyhawk, N154ME: Accident occurred June 26, 2018 near Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT), Maricopa County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Phoenix, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18LA181
Date & Time: 06/26/2018, 1020 MST
Registration: N154ME
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S
Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On June 26, 2018, about 1020 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172SP airplane, N154ME, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Phoenix, Arizona. The commercial pilot received minor injuries and the two passengers were not injured. The airplane was privately owned and operated by Westwind School of Aeronautics under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a business flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona about 0920.

The pilot reported that while maneuvering at 4,500-5,000 ft mean sea level (msl), the vacuum annunciator lights illuminated and the engine immediately experienced roughness. He decided to depart the practice area and head back to DVT. He did not report an emergency or the engine roughness to air traffic control (ATC), because he didn't anticipate a loss of engine power. The pilot positioned the fuel mixture to full rich, and the boost pump switch to 'ON' however the engine continued to run rough during the return flight. About 8 miles northwest of DVT, as the pilot decreased altitude from 4,500 to 3,500 ft msl, he was instructed by ATC to perform a left 360° turn. After completing the turn, the engine lost power and the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot configured the airplane for best glide, found a clearing in the desert terrain for the forced landing and updated ATC about his situation. During the landing roll, the airplane impacted rocks and nosed over.

Examination of the airplane by an Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the vertical stabilizer, rudder, right wing and forward fuselage were substantially damaged. The airplane was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N154ME
Model/Series: 172S S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDVT, 1455 ft msl
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)
Destination: Phoenix, AZ (DVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  33.784167, -112.137778 (est)

PHOENIX - A small aircraft with three people aboard crashed in north Phoenix on Tuesday morning.

Air15 video showed a small plane upside down in the desert near Interstate 17 and Dove Valley Road.

The incident happened just after 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration said a single-engine Cessna 172 experienced engine failure northwest of Deer Valley Airport.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, everyone on the plane got out safely with no serious injuries. 

According to radio traffic with the Deer Valley Airport, the pilot said he had an engine failure, and he could not make it back to the runway. He told the air traffic controller that he would have to force a landing. The plane ended up upside down on the ground.

When firefighters arrived, they said they found three young men who had escaped the wreckage with just minor cuts and bruises. They were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

"They were all talking, and they were able to walk themselves out," said Phoenix Fire Captain Aaron Ernsberger. "It was a very, very lucky chain of events for the folks inside the airplane for sure."

The single-engine Cessna is registered to the president of Westward School of Aeronautics, which trains pilots at Deer Valley Airport. The company declined to comment about the crash, other than to say the passengers were okay.  

It is not clear whether an instructor or a student was piloting the plane when it went down.

Story and video ➤

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A small plane crashed Tuesday morning in the desert near Interstate 17 and Carefree Highway.

It happened shortly after 10 a.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Cessna 172 experienced engine failure while inbound to Deer Valley Airport, and it flipped over on its roof as it landed.

Three people were on board.

Amazingly, they were all able to walk away from the crash with no serious injuries.

The Phoenix and Daisy Mountain fire departments transported the three adult patients to local hospitals to get checked out. All were said to be in stable condition.

Story and video ➤


  1. For an engine out on flat terrain this airplane looks too beaten up.

  2. Plane looks tore up for an emergency landing in the flat desert. Plane will never fly again.

  3. I love it when I see Jim B's name. His posts are always a pleasure.

  4. They get beat up when they hit a tree, we have tough trees out here, and it is really not that flat, those rocks, on average are grapefruit sized

  5. Jim B, look at that top picture and tell us all again, especially those of us who live here, how flat and comfy and obstruction-free that area is, and how easy it must have been to land a 172 with 3 occupants in 114 degree heat with a dead stick and not a lot of altltitude?

  6. I go to that school and it was a student flying, and the instructors on the right. As soon as the indications of an engine failure occurred, the instructor took over.

  7. I was about to BUY the Gamin G-5 out of that airplane when I saw the pictures. Thanks for the info.