Sunday, April 14, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 421B Golden Eagle, N7625Q, accident occurred July 01, 2018 at Clifton Municipal Airport (7F7), Bosque County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Clifton, TX
Accident Number: GAA18CA390
Date & Time: 07/01/2018, 1045 CDT
Registration: N7625Q
Aircraft: Cessna 421
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that, during short final, while approaching the runway threshold, he reduced the engine power to maintain glideslope, added full flaps, and applied a little left rudder to maintain the runway heading. Subsequently, the airplane sank and landed hard, and the nose landing gear collapsed.  

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both engine mounts, the right wing, tail, and rudder.

The pilot also reported that, before the approach, an air traffic controller advised him that the wind at the destination airport was from 190° at 14 knots, gusting to 18 knots. The airport’s automated weather observation station reported that, about 10 minutes after the accident, the wind was from 200° at 14 knots. The airplane landed on runway 14.

The Airport Facility Directory advised, "Steep drop off north of runway 14."

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper landing flare in crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing. 


Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Hard landing

Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/05/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/19/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2116 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1530 hours (Total, this make and model), 2033 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 24 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14.5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7625Q
Model/Series: 421 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 421B0364
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/27/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 7450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 10949.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Cont Motor
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: GTSIO-520-H1
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 375 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KACT, 508 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1451 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 124°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  9 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 14 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 21°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Dallas, TX (RBD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Clifton, TX (7F7)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1015 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 760 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 14
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 31.817222, -97.569444 (est)

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