Saturday, August 25, 2018

Cessna 172L Skyhawk, N4275Q: Accident occurred August 22, 2018 at Shreveport Regional Airport (KSHV), Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Shreveport, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA346
Date & Time: 08/22/2018, 1050 CDT
Registration: N4275Q
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On August 22, 2018, about 1050 central daylight time, a Cessna 172L, N4275Q, made a precautionary landing shortly after takeoff from Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV), Shreveport, Louisiana. The student pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The intended solo cross-country flight to Texarkana Regional Airport-Webb Field (TXK), Texarkana, Arkansas, was departing at the time of the accident.

The student pilot reported that she arrived at SHV around 0930 to preflight the airplane. She stated that the preflight inspection was routine and that she did not observe any anomalies besides low tire pressure on both main landing gear. The engine had about 7 quarts of oil and both fuel tanks were full (topped-off) before the flight. The student pilot obtained a taxi clearance from her hangar to an aircraft maintenance facility on the airport that her father owned. After repositioning the airplane to the maintenance facility, she and her father inflated both main tires and polished the windscreen. The student pilot reported that the engine restarted without hesitation and ran normally before she taxied to the runway. She obtained a taxi clearance to runway 24 and requested visual flight rules flight following to TXK from ground control. The student pilot stated that the surface wind was from 100° magnetic at 4 knots, according to the automatic terminal information service broadcast. She reported the before-takeoff engine runup was uneventful; increased engine speed to 1,700 rpm, verified both magnetos were functional, applied carburetor heat and observed a corresponding decrease of engine speed, and observed normal engine oil temperature and pressure indications. She then verified that the flight controls moved freely through their entire range-of-movements, the elevator trim was set for takeoff (slightly nose-up), and verified correct radio frequencies before calling the tower controller for a takeoff clearance. The tower controller told her to hold short of the runway; however, she received a takeoff clearance after a short hold of about 30 seconds.

The student pilot reported that the takeoff run was normal and that she rotated for liftoff at 60 knots. She stated that after liftoff the elevator force feedback through the control wheel and the kinetic forces were less than normal. The student pilot established a normal climb attitude and the airplane climbed to about 800 ft mean sea level where she perceived a continued degradation of airplane climb performance and observed the airspeed decrease from 75 knots to 70 knots. She recalled that the airplane would not climb without a loss of airspeed. The student pilot reduced airplane pitch to increase airspeed and to avoid an aerodynamic stall. The throttle remained at full power and the engine continued to run smoothly. The student pilot stated that despite not observing any anomalies with engine operation, she concluded that the airplane was having engine issues because she was unable to maintain a normal climb attitude without a loss of airspeed. She told the tower controller that she was having engine issues and that she was going to land. The tower controller cleared her to land on any runway. She made an immediate left turn near midfield to land on runway 14. The student pilot stated that after realigning with runway 14 the airspeed had increased to 95-100 knots and the airplane was too high to make a normal landing. She reduced engine power to idle and attempted to glide to the runway. The student pilot reported that the airplane was not able to land on the remaining runway and that she made a slight left turn to land in the grassy area southeast of the runway. The airplane bounced three times in the grass before the nose gear collapsed. The airplane then impacted a drainage ditch at the airport perimeter. The student pilot reported that she was not wearing the available shoulder harness, and consequently she was briefly knocked unconscious when her forehead impacted the glare shield and her chin impacted the instrument panel.

The student pilot stated that she does not believe the engine was malfunctioning during the flight and that there was a possibility that the airplane encountered a wingtip vortex from another airplane. The student pilot acknowledged that she likely did not have enough experience to correctly identify and recover from a wake turbulence encounter. The student pilot stated that she began flight training on June 15, 2018, and all flights were completed in a Cessna 172 airplane. The student pilot had flown 63 hours total, of which 9 hours were solo.

A review of available air traffic control radar track data did not identify any departing or landing airplanes during the 15-minute period before the accident that would have resulted in a wake turbulence encounter during the flight.

The airplane was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector with the Baton Rouge Flight Standards District Office. The FAA inspector reported that the airplane had landed in the grass to the southeast of runway 14. The landing rollout measured 553 ft long before the airplane impacted a drainage ditch and embankment. The nose landing gear had collapsed, and the airplane came to rest on the lower engine cowl. The cabin floor boards were buckled. The ignition switch and fuel selector were repositioned to OFF by the fire department. The positive battery terminal was disconnected from the battery by the fire department. The FAA inspector confirmed control cable continuity from the cockpit controls to each flight control surface. Engine control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to their respective engine controls. There was adequate fuel observed in each wing fuel tank and neither tank appeared damaged. Fuel samples obtained from both wing tanks, the fuel strainer assembly, and the fuel line to the carburetor were blue in color and had an odor consistent with 100 low-lead aviation fuel. There was no water or particulate contamination observed in any of the fuel samples.

The engine remained partially attached to the firewall. Several engine mounts were bent or fractured. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange. One propeller blade was bent aft about 90° and the other blade appeared undamaged. There were no anomalies observed with the engine crankcase or its exterior-mounted components. The sparkplugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Internal engine and valve train continuity were confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation, and acceptable cylinder pressures were measured using a differential pressure gauge. The left magneto remained attached to its installation point and provided spark on all posts while the crankshaft was rotated. The right magneto remained attached to its installation point and was not equipped with an impulse coupling. The engine had about 6 quarts of oil when measured with its calibrated dipstick. The oil cooler was impact damaged and leaking oil. The carburetor fuel inlet screen was free of contamination. The carburetor bowl contained fuel and no contamination was observed in the carburetor bowl. Disassembly of the carburetor did not reveal any anomalies with the venturi, metal floats, accelerator pump, or needle valve. The postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal engine operation during the flight.

A review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. At 1056, about 6 minutes after the accident, the SHV automated surface observing system reported: wind direction variable at 3 knots, 10 miles surface visibility, few clouds at 4,500 ft above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 28,000 ft agl, temperature 29°C, dew point 18°C, and an altimeter setting 30.17 inches of mercury.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4275Q
Model/Series: 172 L
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: SHV, 258 ft msl
Observation Time: 1056 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 18°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4500 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Shreveport, LA (SHV)
Destination: Texarkana, AR (TXK)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.438889, -93.814167

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The pilot of a small private plane made an emergency landing in a field off the runway earlier today at the Shreveport Regional Airport. Luckily, she only suffered minor injuries.

Emergency crews rushed to the site of that emergency landing in the far southeast portion of the airport property shortly after 10:45 on this Wednesday morning.

"What the pilot shared with authorities is that she had begun to have some engine trouble shortly after takeoff and during that engine trouble she put the plane down where she could," explained Fred Sanders, the assistant to the chief of the Shreveport Fire Department.

Authorities say the pilot of the small private plane was able to get out of the Cessna 172 on her own and was then taken to the hospital to be checked out for what's described as minor injuries.

Witnesses told officials what they saw in the sky before that emergency landing. "They said that she banked one way and then banked another way and then she began to land in the field," added Chief Sanders.

Airport spokesman Mark Crawford told us this is just the kind of scenario aircraft and rescue firefighting team train for all year long and said everything went the way it should have in terms of their response to this emergency landing.

"They were able to get in there, assess the situation, make sure the necessary precautions were taken and actions were taken to minimize the impact there at the scene."

Crawford explained that in situations like this the plane must stay in place until federal investigators look over the area and the aircraft thoroughly to figure out what exactly happened and why.

Once that's over: "Once it is we'll work with the plane owner and the insurance company typically, to have that aircraft removed from the airfield," concluded Chief Sanders.

While such emergency landings are not common we're told they do happen now and again.

In fact, Chief Sanders said they had a similar case last month at the downtown airport - in which the pilot walked away with no scratches.

Story and video ➤

A pilot has been taken to the hospital after a small plane crash landed at Shreveport Regional Airport.

The privately owned plane landed in a brush-filled ditch off the runway near a perimeter fence about 10:45 a.m.

The pilot had taken off from a secondary runway at the airport shortly before the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration will have to clear removal of the plane, which could take a day, according to airport officials.

Story and video ➤

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