Saturday, June 08, 2019

Cessna 172L Skyhawk, N4275Q: Accident occurred August 22, 2018 at Shreveport Regional Airport (KSHV), Louisiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Shreveport, LA
Accident Number: CEN18LA346
Date & Time: 08/22/2018, 1050 CDT
Registration: N4275Q
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries:1 Minor 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On August 22, 2018, about 1050 central daylight time, a Cessna 172L, N4275Q, made a precautionary landing shortly after takeoff from Shreveport Regional Airport (SHV), Shreveport, Louisiana. The student pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. The intended solo cross-country flight to Texarkana Regional Airport-Webb Field (TXK), Texarkana, Arkansas, was departing at the time of the accident.

The student pilot reported that she arrived at SHV around 0930 to preflight the airplane. She stated that her preflight inspection was routine and that she did not observe any anomalies besides low tire pressure on both main landing gear. The engine had about 7 quarts of oil and both fuel tanks were full (topped-off) before the flight. She obtained a taxi clearance from her hangar to an aircraft maintenance facility on the airport that her father owned. After repositioning the airplane to the maintenance facility, she and her father inflated both main tires and polished the windscreen. The pilot reported that the engine restarted without hesitation and ran normally before she taxied to the runway. She obtained a taxi clearance to runway 24 and requested visual flight rules flight following to TXK from ground control. The pilot stated that the surface wind was from 100° magnetic at 4 knots, according to the automatic terminal information service broadcast. She reported the before-takeoff engine runup was uneventful; increased engine speed to 1,700 rpm, verified both magnetos were functional, applied carburetor heat and observed a corresponding decrease of engine speed, and observed normal engine oil temperature and pressure indications. She then verified that the flight controls moved freely through their entire range-of-movements, the elevator trim was set for takeoff (slightly nose-up), and verified correct radio frequencies before calling the tower controller for a takeoff clearance. The tower controller told her to hold short of the runway; however, she received a takeoff clearance about 30 seconds later.

The pilot reported that the takeoff run was normal and that she rotated for liftoff at 60 knots. She stated that after liftoff the elevator force feedback through the control wheel and the kinetic forces were less than normal. The pilot established a normal climb pitch attitude and the airplane climbed to about 800 ft mean sea level where she perceived a continued degradation of airplane climb performance and observed the airspeed decrease from 75 knots to 70 knots. She recalled that the airplane would not climb without a loss of airspeed. The pilot reduced airplane pitch to increase airspeed and avoid an aerodynamic stall. The throttle remained at full power and the engine continued to run smoothly. The pilot stated that despite not observing any anomalies with engine operation, she concluded that the airplane was having engine issues because she was unable to maintain a normal climb pitch attitude without a loss of airspeed. She told the tower controller that she was having engine issues and that she was going to land. The tower controller cleared her to land on any runway. She made an immediate left turn near midfield to land on runway 14. The pilot stated that after aligning with runway 14 the airplane's airspeed had increased to 95-100 knots and that the airplane was too high to make a normal landing. She reduced engine power to idle and attempted to glide to the runway. The pilot reported that the airplane was not able to land on the remaining runway and that she made a slight left turn to land in the grass area southeast of the runway. The airplane bounced three times in the grass before the nose gear collapsed. The airplane then impacted a drainage ditch at the airport perimeter. The pilot reported that she was not wearing the available shoulder harness, and consequently she was briefly knocked unconscious when her forehead impacted the glare shield and her chin impacted the instrument panel.

The pilot acknowledged that the engine did not malfunction during the flight and postulated that the airplane had encountered a wingtip vortex from another airplane. The pilot further acknowledged that she likely did not have enough experience to correctly identify and recover from a wake turbulence encounter. The pilot stated that she began flight training on June 15, 2018, and all flights were completed in a Cessna 172 airplane. The pilot had flown 63 hours total, of which 9 hours were solo.

A postaccident review of available air traffic control radar track data did not identify any departing or landing aircraft during the 15 minutes before the accident that would have resulted in a wake turbulence encounter.

The airplane was examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector with the Baton Rouge Flight Standards District Office. The FAA inspector reported that the airplane had landed in the grass to the southeast of runway 14. The landing rollout measured 553 ft long before the airplane impacted a drainage ditch and embankment. The nose landing gear had collapsed, and the airplane came to rest on the lower engine cowl. The cabin floor boards were buckled. The ignition switch and fuel selector were repositioned to OFF by the fire department. The positive battery terminal was disconnected from the battery by the fire department. The FAA inspector confirmed flight control cable continuity from the cockpit controls to each flight control surface. Engine control continuity was confirmed from the cockpit controls to their respective engine controls. There was sufficient fuel observed in each wing fuel tank and neither tank appeared damaged. Fuel samples obtained from both wing tanks, the fuel strainer assembly, and the fuel line to the carburetor were blue in color and had an odor consistent with 100 low-lead aviation fuel. There was no water or particulate contamination observed in any of the fuel samples.

The engine remained partially attached to the firewall. Several engine mounts were bent or fractured. The propeller remained attached to the propeller flange. One propeller blade was bent aft about 90° and the other blade appeared undamaged. There were no anomalies observed with the engine crankcase or its exterior-mounted components. The sparkplugs were removed and exhibited features consistent with normal engine operation. Internal engine and valve train continuity were confirmed as the engine crankshaft was rotated. Compression and suction were noted on all cylinders in conjunction with crankshaft rotation, and acceptable cylinder pressures were measured using a differential pressure gauge. The left magneto remained attached to its installation point and provided spark on all posts while the crankshaft was rotated. The right magneto remained attached to its installation point and was not equipped with an impulse coupling. The engine had about 6 quarts of oil when measured with its calibrated dipstick. The oil cooler was impact damaged and leaking oil. The carburetor fuel inlet screen was free of contamination. The carburetor bowl contained fuel and no contamination was observed in the carburetor bowl. Disassembly of the carburetor did not reveal any anomalies with the venturi, metal floats, accelerator pump, or needle valve. The postaccident examination did not reveal any evidence of a mechanical malfunction that would have precluded normal engine operation during the flight.

A review of available meteorological data established that day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. At 1056, about 6 minutes after the accident, the SHV automated surface observing system reported: wind direction variable at 3 knots, 10 miles surface visibility, few clouds at 4,500 ft above ground level (agl), scattered clouds at 28,000 ft agl, temperature 29°C, dew point 18°C, and an altimeter setting 30.17 inches of mercury.

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 25, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s):None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/10/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/09/2018
Flight Time:   63 hours (Total, all aircraft), 63 hours (Total, this make and model), 9 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 63 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4275Q
Model/Series: 172 L
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17260175
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 47 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3190 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E2D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:150 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: SHV, 258 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1056 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 303°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Shreveport, LA (SHV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Texarkana, AR (TXK)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1050 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class C 

Airport Information

Airport: Shreveport Regional (SHV)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 258 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  32.438889, -93.814167

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