Sunday, July 07, 2019

Aerodynamic Stall / Spin: Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N738XT, accident occurred May 11, 2018 at Markley Farm Airport (OH24), Orrville, Wayne County, Ohio

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: ORRVILLE, OH
Accident Number: CEN18LA171
Date & Time: 05/11/2018, 0940 EDT
Registration: N738XT
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


During initial climb after a soft field takeoff, the private pilot noted that the airspeed was low, which he thought was due to a pitot system error. He pulled back on the yoke and the airplane's stall warning horn immediately sounded. The airplane was descending, and the pilot maneuvered to avoid obstructions. He pulled the yoke all the way back to fully stall the airplane before the airplane impacted the ground and nosed over. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. Based on the available information, it is likely that the pilot failed to attain adequate airspeed control during the takeoff and initial climb, which resulted in an exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and a subsequent aerodynamic stall.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to attain adequate airspeed during the soft field takeoff, which resulted in an exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and an aerodynamic stall.


Airspeed - Not attained/maintained (Cause)
Angle of attack - Capability exceeded (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information 

On May 11, 2018, about 0940 eastern daylight time, Cessna 172N airplane, N738XT, was substantially damaged when it impacted the ground and nosed over during takeoff from runway 10 at the Markley Farm Airport (OH24), Orrville, Ohio. The private pilot received serious injuries and the passenger received minor injuries. The airplane sustained damage to the fuselage, wings and vertical tail. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and the Greenbrier Valley Airport (LWB), near Lewisburg, West Virginia, was the intended destination.

The pilot reported that he was taking off on runway 10 from his private grass airstrip. He reported that he noted the wind was calm and that the temperature was "warmer", and he referenced the pilot's operating handbook for a soft field takeoff using 10 degrees of flaps. He stated that after takeoff the airplane was in ground-effect and was gaining speed. He noted that he checked, and the airspeed was between 50 and 60 knots. When he looked back toward the runway, he was left of the runway and corrected back to the right. He re-checked the airspeed and it was now reading between zero and the bottom of the white arc (41 knots). He stated that he thought that the airspeed reading was due to a pitot system error and pulled back on the yoke to see if he could climb out; however, the stall warning horn sounded immediately. He diverted to the left to avoid obstructions and was losing altitude rapidly. He pulled the yoke back all the way to fully stall the airplane and it struck the ground and nosed over. He noted in his report that, to the best of his knowledge, there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane, engine, or systems that would have precluded normal operation. 

History of Flight

Initial climb
Loss of control in flight
Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 64, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/10/2015
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  353 hours (Total, all aircraft), 353 hours (Total, this make and model), 320 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 24.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N738XT
Model/Series: 172N N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17270324
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/11/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1924 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-H2AD
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: BJJ, 1136 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1256 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 6500 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 9500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ORRVILLE, OH (OH24)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lewisburg, WV (LWB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0940 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: MARKLEY FARM (OH24)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 1110 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 10
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1633 ft / 200 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  40.875556, -81.766389

1 comment:

  1. When in doubt just pull back on the yoke more. That'll surely make the plane go fast. Sounds like 737 Max pilot.