Sunday, February 24, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 172N, N73929; accident occurred August 21, 2017 at Guntersville Municipal Airport (8A1), Marshall County, Alabama

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

  
http://registry.faa.gov/N73929

Location: Guntersville, AL

Accident Number: ERA17LA293
Date & Time: 08/21/2017, 1430 CDT
Registration: N73929
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis

During the takeoff roll after a touch-and-go landing, the airplane veered sharply to the left and departed the runway. The private pilot was unable to stop the left turn, even with full right rudder applied, and the airplane traveled down a slope and into brush. The airplane was recovered and inspected by a local mechanic, who spoke with the operator and determined that the airplane was not substantially damaged and that there were no mechanical issues with the nosewheel. The pilot subsequently chose to take off and then perform a touch-and-go landing before flying the airplane back to his home airport. He stated that the takeoff and landing were normal, but when he added power to take off again, the airplane veered left off the runway, even with full right rudder applied. The nosewheel struck an object, which resulted in damage to the engine mounts, propeller, and airframe. According to the operator, the airplane had no previous mechanical problems with steering or the nosewheel. Because the airplane had no previous records of problems with steering or the nosewheel, the mechanic did not find any mechanical issues after the first runway excursion, and the pilot was able to successfully take off before the touch-and-go, it is likely that the pilot failed to maintain directional control on takeoff.

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 on takeoff.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information 

On August 21, 2017, about 1430 central daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N73929, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from the Guntersville Municipal Airport (8A1), Guntersville, Alabama. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to a private corporation and operated by Henderson Aviation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that was being conducted as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was destined for the Tom B. David Airport (CZL), Calhoun, Georgia.

The pilot stated that he departed CZL earlier that day and flew direct to 8A1, where he planned to do a touch-and-go landing and then return to CZL. He stated that he made a normal landing on runway 07, but when the nose wheel touched down, the airplane began to shake. The shaking dissipated as the airplane slowed down. The pilot then raised the flaps, turned off the carburetor heat and applied full throttle to take off. As the airplane began to accelerate, it veered sharply to the left and departed the runway. The pilot was unable to stop the left turn even with full right rudder applied and the airplane traveled down a slope and into brush. The pilot called the operator of the airplane, who called the airport for assistance to have the airplane towed back on to the runway. The airplane was inspected by a mechanic, who determined that it was not "severely" damaged; thus, the pilot decided to fly the airplane back to CZL. The pilot elected to perform one touch-and-go landing at CZL before returning to 8A1. He said the takeoff and landing were normal, but when he added engine power to takeoff again, the airplane again veered left off the runway even with full right rudder applied. The nose wheel struck an object, which resulted in damage to the engine mounts, propeller, and airframe.

According to the operator, after the first incident, he talked to the mechanic at 8A1 and it was determined that there was no damage to the airplane and no mechanical issues were identified with the nose-wheel. The operator offered to come pick the pilot up if he did not want to fly the airplane back to Georgia, but the pilot declined. A short while later, the operator received a text message that the airplane had gone off the runway again and was more heavily damaged. The operator then flew to Guntersville and picked up the pilot.

The operator said that the airplane had no previous mechanical problems with steering or with the nose wheel. The airplane was a "daily rental" and flew regularly. The operator, who was also a flight instructor, flew with the pilot after the accident and performed 7-9 takeoffs and landings without incident.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He reported a total flight experience of 119 hours, of which 16 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on April 26, 2017.

The weather at Albertville Regional Airport (8A0), Albertville, Alabama, about 11 miles south of the accident site, at 1435, was reported as wind from 190° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clouds broken at 5,000 ft, temperature 31° C, dew point 25° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inches of mercury. 

History of Flight

Takeoff
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/26/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/09/2017
Flight Time:  119 hours (Total, all aircraft), 16 hours (Total, this make and model), 60 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 16 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N73929
Model/Series: 172 N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17267753
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8697.4 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: AVIATION RENTALS LLC
Rated Power: 160 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: 8A0, 1032 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1435 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 25°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Guntersville, AL (8A1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Calhoun, GA (CZL)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1430 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: GUNTERSVILLE MUNI - JOE STARNE (8A1)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt; Concrete
Airport Elevation: 614 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 07
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5005 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

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:  34.406111, -86.260833 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA293
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 21, 2017 in Guntersville, AL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N73929
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 21, 2017, about 1430 central daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N73929, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from the Guntersville Municipal Airport (8A1), Guntersville, Alabama. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to a private corporation and operated by Henderson Aviation. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that was being conducted as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was destined for the Tom B. David Airport (CZL), Calhoun, Georgia.

The pilot stated that he departed CZL earlier that day and flew direct to 8A1, where he planned to do a touch-and-go landing and then return to CZL. He stated that he made a normal landing on runway 07, but when the nose wheel touched down, the airplane began to shake. The shaking dissipated as the airplane slowed down. The pilot then raised the flaps, turned off the carburetor heat and applied full throttle to take off. As the airplane began to accelerate, it veered sharply to the left and departed the runway. The pilot was unable to stop the left turn even with full right rudder applied and the airplane traveled down a slope and into brush. The pilot called the operator of the airplane, who called the airport for assistance to have the airplane towed back on to the runway. The airplane was inspected by a mechanic, who determined that it was not "severely" damaged; thus, the pilot decided to fly the airplane back to CZL. The pilot elected to perform one touch-and-go landing at CZL before returning to 8A1. He said the takeoff and landing were normal, but when he powered up to takeoff, the airplane again veered left off the runway even with full right rudder applied. This time, the nose wheel struck an object and the left main gear was bent aft. The propeller struck the ground and the engine stopped.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. He reported a total flight experience of 119 hours, of which 16 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical was issued on April 26, 2017.

The weather at Albertville Regional Airport (8A0), Albertville, Alabama, about 11 miles south of the accident site, at 1435, was reported as wind from 190° at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clouds broken at 5,000 ft, temperature 31° C, dewpoint 25° C, and an altimeter setting of 30.15 inHG.

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