Sunday, March 17, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 170B, N4385B; accident occurred December 16, 2018 in Riggins, Idaho County, Idaho

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Riggins, ID
Accident Number: GAA19CA098
Date & Time: 12/16/2018, 1200 MST
Registration: N4385B
Aircraft: Cessna 170
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Positioning 

The pilot of the ski-equipped airplane reported that he aborted his first attempt to take off, and during his second takeoff in a tailwind, shortly after rotation, the airplane settled back onto the snow-packed runway. He further reported that the airplane lifted off again, but about 5 feet above the ground and near the end of the runway, a wind gust pushed the airplane down onto the runway. The airplane overran the runway and the right wing impacted a tree. The wind direction and speed were not discernable due to the lack of a windsock or weather reporting station.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings.

The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot chose to depart to the north due to raising terrain and tall trees on south end of runway.

The airport elevation was approximately 7,600 feet with the runway length of 1,800 feet. The airplane owner's manual performance information for zero wind velocity and hard level surface recommends 3,260 feet for take of distance at 7,000 feet elevation, 40 degrees F. and flaps in the up configuration. With flaps at 20 degrees, the owner's manual recommends 3,420 feet for take of distance at 7,000 feet elevation and 40 degrees F. The owner's manual also identifies performance information for a skiplane under the most favorable condition of smooth packed snow at temperatures of approximately 30 degrees F, the skiplane take-off distance is approximately 10% greater than that shown for the landplane. However, via the Supplimental Type Certificate (STC) process the airplane did undergo an engine conversion to the 180 hp and constant speed propeller. No take-off performance data was identified on the STC. The pilot further reported he had landed and taken-off from this airport previously without incident.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/20/2018
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/14/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 21500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2000 hours (Total, this make and model), 21200 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 137 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4385B
Model/Series: 170 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted; Normal
Serial Number: 26729
Landing Gear Type: Ski; Ski/wheel; Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/29/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6729.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-4A4
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KGIC, 3314 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1935 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 320°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 8500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Clear Air / None
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: McCall, ID (KMYL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Riggins, ID (PVT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1015 MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Buffalo Hump (Concord) private (PVT)
Runway Surface Type: Snow
Airport Elevation: 7600 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Snow
Runway Used: 01
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1800 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; 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:  45.583611, -115.681667 (est)

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