Sunday, May 19, 2019

Abrupt Maneuver: Cessna 172M, N9912Q, accident occurred June 14, 2017 at Smiley Creek Airport (U87), Ketchum, Blaine County, Idaho

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Galena, ID
Accident Number: GAA17CA341
Date & Time: 06/14/2017, 1100 MDT
Registration: N9912Q
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abrupt maneuver
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that he was attempting to perform a crosswind, soft-field takeoff from a dry, turf airstrip. He set the flaps to 10°, and the airplane was in a nose-high attitude until the stall warning horn sounded. He then relaxed pressure on the yoke until the stall warning horn stopped. Shortly after liftoff, the airplane entered a power-on stall, and the pilot lost airplane control, and the airplane then began to descend to the runway. The airplane subsequently departed the runway and impacted a barbed wire fence.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing strut.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack, which resulted in a power-on stall and subsequent loss of airplane control.


Pitch control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Abrupt maneuver (Defining event)
Aerodynamic stall/spin

Uncontrolled descent
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

After landing

Runway excursion

The pilot in the airplane reported that he attempted to perform a crosswind, soft-field take off from a dry turf airstrip. The pilot configured the airplane with full throttle application, flaps 10°, and a nose high attitude until the stall warning horn sounded. He then relaxed pressure on the yoke until the stall warning horn subsided. Shortly after rotation the airplane entered a power-on stall and the pilot lost directional control of the airplane. The airplane impacted a barbed wire fence and sustained substantial damage to the right wing strut.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented, if he had received instruction from a Federal Aviation Administration Certificated Flight Instructor that was specific to the accident airplane, specifically for a soft-field takeoff because each individual aircraft has nuances that can affect the operation.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, 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: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/16/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/24/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 369 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model), 327 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N9912Q
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17265856
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/02/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9660.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: Andy Patrick
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Ponderosa Aero Club
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: KSNT, 6495 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1651 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:  340°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Boise, ID (KBOI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Smiley Creek, ID (U87)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0900 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: SMILEY CREEK (U87)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 7206 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 32
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4900 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 43.912222, -114.796111 (est)

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