Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna L-19E Bird Dog, N4431C; accident occurred March 11, 2019 at Lloyd Stearman Field Airport (1K1), Benton, Butler County, Kansas

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Wichita, Kansas

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Benton, KS
Accident Number: GAA19CA161
Date & Time: 03/11/2019, 1330 CDT
Registration: N4431C
Aircraft: Cessna L19
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The pilot receiving instruction toward a commercial certificate in the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, while practicing a power-off 180° approach, upon landing, the airplane veered sharply to the right. The pilot attempted to correct with opposite rudder; however, the airplane exited the right side of the runway, impacted a tree and came to rest after impacting a house.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left and right wings.

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

About the time of the accident, an automated weather reporting station, located 5 miles west of the accident site, reported that the wind was from 080° at 4 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 17. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/28/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/23/2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1956 hours (Total, all aircraft), 298 hours (Total, this make and model)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 35, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/08/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/11/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 8.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 90 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 35 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4431C
Model/Series: L19 E
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1957
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 24549
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7650 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-470-11
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 213 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: KAAO, 1421 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1835 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 252°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 80°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.33 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Benton, KS (1K1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Benton, KS (1K1)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1230 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Lloyd Stearman Field (1K1)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1364 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None

Latitude, Longitude:  37.774444, -97.113333 (est)

BENTON, Kansas (KAKE) -  Authorities say no one was seriously hurt when a student pilot crashed a small plane into a home in Butler County.

The accident happened at around 1:15 p.m. Monday on the west side of Lloyd Stearman Field in Benton. 

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the pilot crashed the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog after landing.  

Witnesses who were eating at Stearman Field Bar & Grill said they saw the plane crash into the house but didn't know if it was landing or taking off. 

No one was in the home at the time. The Kansas Highway Patrol lists the pilot as Victor Riffel, 65 of Benton.  His passenger, Joseph Bertapelle, 35, of Derby, was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Story and video ➤ http://www.kake.com


  1. Perhaps this article has inaccurate information? Why was a student pilot carrying a passenger? Unless the passenger was a flight instructor?


  2. Another student with passenger?

  3. Pilot flew in for the $100 hamburger but was in a hurry and decided to use the drive-thru. Glad no one was hurt except that old Cessna.

  4. student pilot with a passenger on board??

  5. I guess it WAS a nice plane.... I wish I had one that wasn't so bent up.

  6. I hope the press is wrong. That a student pilot didn't take a passenger aboard a precious one of a kind aircraft that is now beyond repairable damages.


  7. My bad he is a private pilot.

    Fake news is incapable of searching the airplane registry of the FAA!!!


    BENTON KS 67017-9410
    County: BUTLER
    Country: USA
    Medical Information:
    Medical Class: Second Medical Date: 8/2018
    BasicMed Course Date: None BasicMed CMEC Date: None
    Certificates Description
    Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT
    Date of Issue: 10/18/2007


  8. According to news, pilot was licensed pilot and passenger was flight instructor. Pilot working on "advanced training" although I can't image what advanced rating an L-19 could provide. Glad no serious injuries.

  9. Best chicken fried steak in the business there..

  10. You can buy the wreck on ebay right now! Just the project you need for one of those cold Kansas winters.