Friday, May 31, 2019

Cessna 150F, registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N8746S: Accident occurred May 26, 2019 near Garberville Airport (O16), Humboldt County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Garberville, CA
Accident Number: WPR19LA155
Date & Time: 05/26/2019, 1430 PDT
Registration: N8746S
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 26, 2019, about 1430 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8746S, collided with a tree while on approach to the Garberville Airport, Garberville, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight originated from Garberville Airport, Garberville, California about 1415. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The purpose of the flight was for the pilot to perform touch-and-go practice takeoffs and landings. The pilot completed one landing and was departing from runway 36. After reaching about 200 feet above ground level (agl), the engine experienced a loss of power. The pilot banked the airplane to the east (right) in an attempt to make an emergency landing on the river gravel/sandbar. The airplane impacted a tree and descended through the tree canopy (refer to picture 01). The pilot climbed out of the wreckage under his own power and hiked to the road.

Picture 01: Accident Location in Reference to the Runway 

The airplane came to rest on a steep slope making up the west riverbank (refer to picture 02) at an altitude of 400 feet mean sea level (msl). The empennage had separated from the fuselage; the wings remained attached and intact. The airplane will be recovered for further examination.

Picture 02: Accident Site Altitude 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N8746S
Model/Series: 150 F
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: KFOT, 391 ft msl
Observation Time: 1453 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Garberville, CA (O16)
Destination: Garberville, CA (O16) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  40.088333, -123.807500 (est)

On May 26, 2019, at about 6 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Jerold Phelps Hospital in Garberville for the report of a plane crash survivor.

Upon further investigation, deputies learned that the survivor, a 48-year-old Garberville man, had been practicing takeoffs and landings alone in his Cessna 150F at the Garberville Airport. According to the man, the plane’s engine reportedly lost power, causing it to crash into trees. The man was able to walk up a bluff to Sprowl Creek Road, where a passerby then picked him up and transported him to the hospital.

The man was later transported to an out of area hospital in critical condition for further treatment. 

On May 27, at about 7:35 a.m., deputies located the plane in a thicket of trees near the 1800 block of Sprowel Creek Road. 

This incident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

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