Sunday, July 07, 2019

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N994CP: Fatal accident occurred July 06, 2019 near University-Oxford Airport (KUOX), Lafayette County, Mississippi

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Jackson, Mississippi
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Civil Air Patrol; Maxwell AFB, Alabama
Civil Air Patrol; Columbus, Mississippi

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Oxford, MS

Accident Number: CEN19FA212
Date & Time: 07/06/2019, 1515 CDT
Registration: N994CP
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

Ed Malinowski,  Investigator In Charge 
National Transportation Safety Board

On July 6, 2019, about 1515 central daylight time, a Cessna 172R airplane, N994CP, impacted a golf course near the University-Oxford Airport (UOX), near Oxford, Mississippi. The student pilot sustained serious injuries that subsequently became fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged during the impact and subsequent ground fire. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was operated on a visual flight rules flight plan. The cross-country flight originated from the Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTR), near Columbus, Mississippi, about 1400 and was destined for UOX.

A fixed base operator at UOX reported that he heard the pilot on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) notifying the air traffic that she was in the area. He did not see the airplane at that time. About 1515, he heard the pilot announce on the CTAF indicating that the airplane was landing on runway 9. The pilot's voice sounded "panicked" and she did not finish her sentences. The pilot did not respond to the helicopter in the area asking for her location. The witness saw the airplane approach runway 9 with a tailwind. The airplane did not touch the runway and abeam the windsock near midfield, the airplane started to climb at a "steep" angle. The witness indicated that there were no engine anomalies heard. The airplane headed towards the golf course and then the witness saw the airplane "go straight down behind the trees." Smoke was observed about 3 minutes later above the treeline. A local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control center called a few minutes before the landing attempt and was looking for the airplane. A co-worker hung up with the center and then called 9-1-1 notifying them of the crash.

A witness at the golf course reported that he first heard the airplane on takeoff or a very close to the runway. The first visual he had of the plane was above the trees over the 16th hole. The airplane appeared to be "struggling" to maintain airspeed, was nose up, and appeared to be very close to stalling. The witness indicated that the airplane then made a left turn and lost altitude. He thought the airplane was attempting a landing on the 17th fairway. However, the airplane continued with the left turn, struck the ground, and slid up to nearby trees.

Good Samaritans and first responders tried to extract the pilot from the cockpit. The seatbelt and shoulder harness retained the pilot in the cockpit. A ground fire subsequently occurred. Firefighters contained the fire, the pilot was extracted, and subsequently airlifted to a hospital.

The 18-year-old pilot held a FAA student pilot certificate issued on August 19, 2017. On October 5, 2018, the pilot was issued a FAA third-class medical certificate with no limitations. On the application for that medical certificate, the pilot reported having accumulated 20 hours of total flight time with 13 hours logged in the preceding six months. The pilot's logbook was not recovered. However, according to initial information from the CAP, the pilot had accumulated about 69.4 hours of total flight time, 30.2 hours in 172R airplanes, 32.7 hours in the last 90 days, 16.7 hours in the last 30 days, and 1.2 hours in the prior 24 hours.

The 1997-model Cessna 172R, was a 4-four seat, high-wing, single-engine airplane. It was powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine with serial number L-29877-51. It drove a 2- bladed, fixed pitch, metal, McCauley propeller. The airplane's last inspection was annual inspection conducted on June 21, 2019, at a tachometer and total time of 2,834.6 hours.

At 1515, the recorded weather at UOX was: Wind 310° at 11 kts; visibility 9 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 3,400 ft, scattered clouds at 4,100 ft; temperature 32° C; dew point 21° C; altimeter 30.04 inches of mercury.

UOX, located approximately two miles northwest of downtown Oxford, Mississippi, was a publicly owned, non-towered airport, which was owned by the University of Mississippi. It is attended from 0700-1800. UOX's surveyed field elevation was 452 ft above mean sea level. UOX was serviced by runway 9/27, which was a 5,600 ft, by 100 ft, asphalt runway. Runway 9 was marked as a non-precision approach runway. It was serviced by a four-light precision approach path indicator on the runway's left side. Comments for runway 9 indicated there were no obstructions.

The airplane came to rest on a golf course about 1,200 ft north of runway 9's centerline. The airplane resting heading was about 170°. A ground scar consistent with a left main landing gear impression was observed about 70 ft north of the wreckage. Also, abeam this ground scar to the east was a depression consistent with left wing contact. A ground scar consistent with a cowling and nose landing gear impression was found about 58 ft north of the wreckage. Retaining clips consistent with nose landing gear clips were found near this scar and the scar exhibited a depression consistent with a propeller strike. The fuselage's center section was found melted, deformed, and discolored by fire. Sections of the left and right wing struts were found under their wings. The outboard section of the left wing was deformed and wrinkled upward and rearward, consistent with ground contact. The empennage was found upright. The engine and its attached propeller were found inverted and the engine was partially connected to the firewall, underneath the forward fuselage. An outboard section of one propeller blade was melted and the other propeller blade exhibited forward bending.

An on-scene investigation was conducted. Flight control cables were traced, and control continuity was established to all control surfaces from the cockpit area. Engine control cables were traced and control continuity was established from the cockpit area to the engine. Removed sparkplugs exhibited a normal combustion appearance when compared to a Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug chart. The engine exhibited a thumb compression at three cylinders when the crankshaft was rotated. All rocker covers were removed, and all valve train components moved accordingly when the crankshaft was rotated. The No. 4 cylinder was removed, and it had material under its exhaust valve. Oil was observed within the engine crankcase when the cylinder was removed. The oil screen and oil filter were examined, and no debris was observed in them. The fuel servo screen did not contain any debris when it was examined. The rear mounted engine accessories exhibited deformation and discoloration consistent with thermal fire damage. The flap jackscrew was observed, and it did not exhibit any thread extension, which is consistent with retracted flaps.

The Office of the Lafayette County Coroner was asked to arrange an autopsy on the pilot and to have toxicological samples taken.

The No. 4 cylinder is being shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further testing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna

Registration: N994CP
Model/Series: 172 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Civil Air Patrol Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions

Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KUOX, 452 ft msl
Observation Time: 1515 CDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 21°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 3400 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 11 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility:  9 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Oxford, MS (UOX)
Destination: Columbus/W Point/Starkville, MS (GTR)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.387778, -89.530556 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

Elizabeth "Lake" Little 

A memorial service celebrating the life of Elizabeth “Lake” Little will be held Friday July 12, 2019, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church Outreach Worship Center, 210 S. Jackson Street, in Starkville, Mississippi. Interment will follow at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Starkville.  Visitations will be held at the same venue on Thursday, July 11, from 5-8 p.m. and again Friday, July 12 from 9-11 a.m.

Little, 18, a loving daughter, sister, and friend, earned her wings on July 6, 2019 following an airplane accident. She was born in Flowood, MS, on February 12, 2001. Lake grew up in the Starkville community where she graduated from Starkville Academy in May 2019 with plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi to study Speech Pathology. 

While her time on Earth may have been short, the brevity of her life did not impede her many accomplishments. Lake was not only an honor student in the classroom, she was also an all-star on fields of athletic competition across Mississippi. Lake’s leadership was displayed as captain of the soccer, tennis, and archery teams and her induction into the Starkville Academy Hall of Fame.
Friends and family know Lake truly excelled in the countless hours spent in her passion for volunteer service to others. Through her program “Reading Matters,” she helped teach the importance of reading and literacy to people of all ages. 
Lake shared her gifts in volunteer service in her Starkville home community and likewise in foreign mission work overseas. First Baptist Church Starkville is where Lake came to know the Lord Jesus Christ and where she led others to grow in their faith.

Earlier this year, Lake was designated as Starkville’s Miss Hospitality. In that role, she took great pride in representing her community while promoting tourism and economic development. Lake was scheduled to compete later this month in the statewide Miss Hospitality Competition.

Lake Little discovered her love for flying at a young age, reflected in her decision to join the Civil Air Patrol. In the sky, Lake said she felt at home and there was best able to envision her life goals. Lake recently enlisted in the Miss. Air National Guard to serve her state and nation. Lake dreamed of later becoming a U.S. Air Force pilot and later flying for FedEx, while working on the ground as a Speech Pathologist. 

Lake is preceded in death by paternal grandfather Archie R. Little, maternal grandfather Ernest Lowery, Sr., and uncle Gary Little and aunt Debbie Little of Hattiesburg. 

She is survived by her parents, David and Pattie Little of Starkville, brothers Layton and Patton of Starkville; paternal grandmother Barbara Bass of Petal, MS; maternal grandmother Sydney Douglas; uncle Ernest Lowery, Jr. (Michelle) of Oxford, MS; aunts April Ward (Timmy) of Benton, MS; and Mary Brooks (Bart) of Bay St. Louis, MS; uncles Jerry Little, Craig Little (Michelle) and Jeff Bass (Faye) all of Hattiesburg, MS; and numerous cousins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Lake Little Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, 118 College Drive #5210, Hattiesburg, MS 39406 and the First Baptist Church Youth Missions, 106 E Lampkin St, Starkville, MS 39759.  Welch Funeral Home in Starkville is in charge of arrangements (

Ed Malinowski, Investigator In Charge 
  National Transportation Safety Board 

A training flight turned into a nightmare for one family on Saturday when a Civil Air Patrol cadet crash-landed on the Ole Miss Golf Course.

A single-engine Cessna Skyhawk crashed near the 17th tee box around 3:15 p.m. while the pilot was performing touch-and-go takeoffs at the nearby Ole Miss airport. The only person onboard was a female pilot who suffered serious burns in the crash. She was airlifted to Regional Medical Center in Memphis, where she succumbed to her injuries later that night.

The pilot was identified as Lake Little, an 18-year-old from Starkville, who was in the middle of a training flight toward earning her private pilot certification. The flight originated from the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus at approximately 2:03 p.m. with Oxford as the listed destination in the submitted flight plan.

Little was operating the plane under visual flight rules, which are a set of regulations a pilot operates a plane under in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.

During the touch-and-go takeoffs, Little’s plane appeared to be landing before something went wrong, according to witnesses at the golf course.

“We were on (hole) 9… It looked like it was landing and then aborted the landing and we saw it struggle to come back up,” bystander Brian Scott Rippee said. “Then, when we were walking off the green it just fell straight down into the trees.”

Little graduated from Starkville Academy in May and was set to be an incoming freshman at the University of Southern Mississippi next month. She had recently enlisted in the National Guard and was a Cadet Master Sargent with the Civil Air Patrol. A frequent beauty pageant contestant, Little’s dream was to become a pilot for FedEx, according to her Miss Hospitality 2019 contestant profile. She was also the founder of “Reading Matters,” a nonprofit organization that has promoted literacy for hundreds of children across the state of Mississippi.

Little was the daughter of Starkville’s Ward III Alderman David Little.

“Right now our focus is on the cadet’s family and the members of her local squadron,” Major General Mark Smith, national commander and CEO with the Civil Air Patrol, said in a statement. “This is a tragic accident and we are praying for peace and comfort for everyone involved. We are working with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration to determine what caused the crash.”

During a press conference at the Ole Miss Golf Course clubhouse on Monday morning, NTSB air safety investigator Ed Malinowski stated planes such as the one Little was flying on Saturday do not require or have a “black box” or any recording device on board. The investigators will rely on any radar data and radio transmissions they can gather from both airports to help determine the cause.

Structural damage will also aid in the investigators determining why the plane crashed less than a half-mile from the airport.

“The wreckage, it has certain impact marks and we are able to follow the control cable within the fire and we can tell if they were connected or not,” Malinowski said. “That will tell us if there was control continuity and if the pilot had control of the aircraft by the integrity of the control cable.”

The plane will remain on the golf course for another day or two to allow for the on-site investigation to conclude before the Civil Air Patrol will remove it to a relocation area at an undetermined location at this time. Malinowski stated investigations such as this could take up to a year or more before a final report is filed.

Original article ➤

Lake Little

OXFORD, Mississippi — Lake Little, the 18-year-old pilot who passed away after a crash landing just two days ago, was an accomplished student looking to fly for a living.

The exact plan is unclear — maybe it was FedEx, or the Air Force, or something entirely different. But those close to Little have described the 18-year-old as someone whose identity became attached to flying, which makes Saturday’s crash all the more puzzling.

“It was an incredibly important piece of her life, she was looking at making it a career," Starkville, Mississippi Mayor Lynn Spruill said. "This was one of the things that she loved to do and she was on the path to do that.”

While Lake found a lot of success in her young life through academics, athletics and pageants, those in Starkville say they’ll miss her spirit the most.

"She was a wonderful ambassador for our community," Spruill said. “Lake was very engaged in all things Starkville, as was her family. It’s just an incredible loss to us as a community as well as her family.”

Investigators are now beginning the slow, careful process of gathering every bit of information from radio and radar logs, picking apart the crash site and listening to witness testimony.

It will be a long process for the National Transportation Safety Board, the group charged with investigating the deadly crash. Although the plane was badly damaged, they say they’ll be able to use the plane cables to tell if little had control when it went down.

Ed Malinowski, air safety investigator with NTSB, said investigators can tell if those cables were connected or not, and that will tell them if if the pilot had control of the aircraft.

He said his understanding was that Little was a student pilot who would have been endorsed by an instructor to go out on solo flights.

Little was flying a plane owned by the Civil Air Patrol. WREG reached out to the group, but they referred us to a new statement released Monday, which in part reads: “it’s hard to put into words how much of a tragedy this is, and how deep of a loss it is. Such a loss affects all of us on different levels and different ways.”

Little was flying a Cessna 172 plane, widely labeled as the most popular single-engine plane ever. The company website calls it “the ultimate training aircraft.”

We also researched the history of the specific plane that Little was flying. Built in 1997 and owned by the Civil Air Patrol, we couldn’t find any issues or causes for concern.

Golfers using the course on the day of the accident claim they frequently see those planes flying overhead.

“We do see the planes go up and down every day, every morning, and of all different sizes,” said Da Magee, who golfs at the course.

Although early results for a crash report won’t take long, a final conclusion could be more drawn out.

"I’ll have a preliminary report on the Internet in about a week and my final report can take anywhere from six months to a year,” Malinowski said.

Story and video ➤

Three (3) months ago

David Little ‏@david_dlittle
 April 06, 2019
Congratulations ⁦@lake_little⁩  on solo today!!
Proud of you!! #soloflight #CAP2294

A well-known Starkville teenager and incoming University of Southern Mississippi student died Saturday from injuries sustained in a plane crash on the Ole Miss golf course in Oxford earlier in the day. 

Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill confirmed to the Starkville Daily News that Lake Little, 18, died sometime Saturday after being transported to a hospital in Memphis.  

She is the daughter of Ward 3 Alderman David Little and his wife Pattie Little.

University of Mississippi spokesperson Rod Guajardo said in a statement that a single-engine plane affiliated with Civil Air Patrol was performing “touch and go” takeoffs and landings when it crashed Saturday around 3:15 p.m. near the 17th tee box at the Ole Miss Golf Course.

He then said the only person on board the small plane was a female pilot who suffered “serious burns” in the crash.

While officials did not identify Little by name, they said the victim of the plane crash was airlifted to a Memphis-area trauma center. 

“No one on the ground was injured,” he said. “The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been contacted and will investigate the scene of the crash. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

Little was a 2019 graduate of Starkville Academy and appeared many times in the Starkville Daily News for her numerous academic and civic accomplishments, as well as competition in pageants.

Starkville Miss Hospitality Director Angella Baker said Little was Starkville’s representative for the Miss Hospitality pageant and was scheduled to compete in the statewide competition at the end of July.

Baker said Little was also actively involved in Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Starkville.

Original article ➤

Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said the pilot in Saturday's plane crash at the Ole Miss Golf Course has died.

Plane crash at Ole Miss Golf Course with wreckage highlighted in circle (Amanda Haley)

Lake Little's bio on the Mississippi Miss Hospitality website. She planned to compete later this month.

According to our news partner, the Starkville Daily News, the pilot was 18-year-old Lake Little, an incoming student at the University of Southern Mississippi.

She recently graduated from Starkville Academy and planned to represent Starkville in this year's Mississippi Miss Hospitality competition later this month in Hattiesburg.

Her bio for the competition said she had her private pilot's license and her dream was to fly for FedEx.

"We are awaiting arrival of reconstructionist experts with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board," said Kennedy in a statement. "Further updates will be released on Monday afternoon with arrival of federal investigators."

Kennedy said he's investigating along with Ole Miss police, Oxford police and Oxford firefighters.

"Please respect the privacy of a hurting family in the loss of their loved one in this tragic accident," added the coroner.

5:19 p.m.

Rod Guajardo, University of Mississippi spokesperson, has released a statement about the plane crash at the Ole Miss Golf Course:

“A single-engine plane affiliated with Civil Air Patrol was performing ‘touch and go’ takeoffs and landings when it crashed Saturday around 3:15 p.m. near the 17th tee box at the Ole Miss Golf Course. The only person onboard was a female pilot who suffered serious burns in the crash. She was airlifted to a Memphis-area trauma center, and her condition is not known at this time. No one on the ground was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration have been contacted and will investigate the scene of the crash. We will provide further updates as they become available.”

Original story

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Mississippi (WTVA) -- A plane has crashed at the Ole Miss Golf Course.

Newsweek columnist David Magee posted on Twitter a golfer told him the plane went down on the number 17 fairway and caught fire.

The crash happened apparently after 3 p.m. Saturday.

Ole Miss sports announcer and sports talk host Richard Cross posted on Twitter the aircraft was a Civil Air Patrol plane that had originated from the Golden Triangle Regional Airport and was scheduled to land at the University-Oxford Airport.

He said the pilot was flown to the hospital.

There is no official word as to how many were on the plane or how seriously anyone was hurt.

The golf course did say on social media it is closed for the day.

Story and video ➤

A federal investigative agency has released a preliminary report on the July 6th plane crash that killed an 18-year-old student pilot in Oxford.

The organization that was training the pilot, the Civil Air Patrol, said it's too early to speculate on the cause of the crash. 

The NTSB report quotes witnesses who said the pilot sounded "panicked" in communications with the control tower and that the plane made an aborted landing attempt, then rose sharply, turned and crashed onto a golf course.

The report cites a witness who said the pilot had attempted to land with a tailwind — that is, with the wind behind the airplane.

If the witness account is accurate, that's a serious error because pilots are supposed to fly into the wind while landing to help slow down the airplane, according to Robert Katz, a Dallas flight instructor who frequently reads crash reports and discusses them with news media.

He said the report leads him to believe that the pilot had trouble finding the runway and approached from the wrong direction. He says that and other indicators in the recently released National Transportation Safety Board preliminary crash report suggest the student pilot's crash, which occurred at the end of a solo flight that took off near Columbus, Mississippi and traveled to Oxford, could have been avoided. 

Citing the preliminary nature of the crash report, J.F. Joseph, with Joseph Aviation Consulting, declined to offer a conclusion, though, he did say aviation investigators are likely to learn a great deal when inspecting the downed plane's systems.

"It seems as though there may have been some concern with the power plant assembly itself. When the final report comes out, it will be a lot more in-depth to discover what the NTSB and manufacturer has found," Joseph said. 

In a statement, the Civil Air Patrol said it's too soon to reach conclusions. “The NTSB has posted a preliminary report and will continue their investigation. The next step for them will be to complete a factual report. We, of course, are cooperating with them throughout each stage of the investigation. Any speculation as to why the accident happened is unwarranted.” 

Eighteen-year-old Lake Little of Starkville, Mississippi, had recently graduated from high school and was planning to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. She dreamed of flying for FedEx — the company later sent commemorative wings to her family.

The NTSB cautions that information in the preliminary report, released this week, may include errors. The agency says it aims to correct them when the final report is complete.

According to the NTSB report, Little had first received a student pilot certificate in August 2017, then received a third-class medical certificate in October 2018. That type of certificate is required for solo flights.

At the time of the crash, she had logged 69.4 hours of flight time. 

Little was flying a single-engine plane with the Civil Air Patrol. It's an organization affiliated with the U.S. Air Force that carries out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide, runs science and engineering programs and also trains young pilots.

In an online message posted shortly after the crash, the group's National Commander and CEO, Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, called for increased attention to safety.

"My request is that each of us, from a risk management perspective, reflect on the duties assigned to us. Whether we are in steady state (Civil Air Patrol) activities, involved in cadet special activities or conducting flight activities, let us ensure that our approach to and performance of these duties reflects the high standards of excellence and professionalism to which we are called.

"Doing so will honor our fallen member and help ensure the safe conduct of our operations."

The preliminary investigation found the plane's flaps appeared to have been retracted. Pilots deploy flaps when approaching a runway, because the flaps help provide more lift at slower speeds, Katz said. If the pilot retracted the flaps after the landing attempt, it would cause the plane to sink suddenly, he said. He believes that's what happened in this case. 

A witness at the golf course described seeing the airplane appearing to be "struggling" to maintain airspeed, with its nose up, and appearing to be very close to stalling, the NTSB report says. 

The witness then saw the plane make a left turn and lose altitude. It struck the ground and slid up to nearby trees. 

The pilot suffered serious burns in the crash, Ole Miss spokesman Rod Guajardo said in a statement earlier this month.

According to the NTSB report, bystanders and first responders tried to help the young pilot out of the cockpit, but her seatbelt and shoulder harness kept her inside. Then a fire started. Firefighters put it out and rescuers eventually extracted the pilot.  She was airlifted to a Memphis hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. 


  1. So sad. I pray that time will heal all.

  2. RIP flight path

  3. Such a heart-breaking story and such a beautiful young lady. Prayers to her and her family as she is now soaring in heaven with the angels. RIP

  4. RIP

    It only takes this one time in Aviation. Just this one time...

  5. RIP and condolences to the family.

    Noticed on the flight path that she was flying very slow all the way there. Do CAP flights normally keep the speed that low?

  6. First solo in 3 mos ago
    Take off stall on go around
    High relative humidity
    Partial throttle operations
    Carb ice prob factor
    Can sneak up and bite you even on hot days

  7. Yep most likely carb ice. Hot summer day with high humidity.
    If wasn't applied on downwind wouldn't be noticed until the takeoff part of the touch'n go.
    By then if airborne to late to do anything but lay the plane straight ahead per the impossible turn rules, but things happen so far and the temptation to keep it up or turn just too great for an inexperienced low time pilot.

  8. Student pilot doing touch and goes without and instructor

  9. I believe the 172R is fuel injected and hence no carb heat.

  10. You are correct. Lycoming I0-360 is fuel injected. Very sad story. My condolences...

  11. My flight instructor doesn't allow pilots under instruction or student pilots to do touch and goes.

  12. Back in the day, during my student pilot logged hours, I was still landing while taking off. So the instructor would work the flaps. It can be quite a mental and/or physical workload for a newly pilot.

    "Student pilot doing touch and goes without an instructor."

  13. Flight aware shows a flight just previous of 2 + hours ... accident flight a little over 1 hour ... fuel exhaustion ?

  14. Since when does CAP allow student pilots to fly in the aircraft solo ? I thought CAP pilots needed to be certificated before they even could get checked out in a CAP plane...

  15. Per Flightaware: A student pilot taking off that close to TS ? Whatsup with that ?

  16. Negative on fuel starvation and carb ice...fuel injected 172, and CAP requires fuel receipts and full tanks before any flights. Most likely
    1. inexperienced in the operational area: IE shorter runway than home airport and rising terrain on the departure end of runway 09. Her home airport KGTR is 8000 ft and flat for miles in all directions.
    2. Weather that day had DA at over 2500 ft, and she had tailwind of 8.5 knots.

    She most likely ate up a lot of runway on the landing, applied power more than halfway down the runway (5600 ft) and began her climb out. High DA cause slow ascent rate. Then she saw the terrain approaching and panicked...pulled back and left on the yoke, stalled and pancaked in 1400 ft from centerline, and 90 degrees to the runway alignment.

  17. There is NO REASON not to allow a student pilot to perform touch and goes, full stop landings, whatever ......... they are signed off by an Instructor Pilot and have demonstrated ability to perform such operations while under tutelage of a Certified Flight Instructor. This pilot was obviously already Solo a while back, and had demonstrated to her Flight Instructor that she could handle the aircraft. The Touch and Go is not an abnormal maneuver, it is a required maneuver in the course of flight training.
    I was flying my Cessna 172 at the exact same time as the time frame this accident occurred on Saturday afternoon, I was not far from this area. Yes, it has been abnormally high humidity conditions thus far this summer, I do exercise the Carb Heat on my Cessna when I am flying, just an good old habit pattern. The eyewitness accounts will be vague at best, they always are. There will be a very extensive investigation of this accident and the results will illuminate any issues with the aircraft itself and/or the student pilot.

  18. Where are you guys getting “student pilot” from? From what I read, it says she had her PPL.

    “Her bio for the competition said she had her private pilot's license and her dream was to fly for FedEx.”

  19. Per National Transportation Safety Board, Investigator In Charge, Miss Little was a student pilot.
    May she rest in peace.

  20. This *student pilot* should not have been doing touch and goes! Period.

  21. Instructor Responsibility -- "Touch and goes are more risky than full stops. In some cases you may not want to assume the risk - in those instances, simply don't try to fly, or to teach, touch and goes. Your job is to teach and evaluate, but you're also ultimately responsible for what the student does with his or her hands, and the controls. Remember, as CFI you're usually the pilot-in-command. It's your reputation that's on the line if you don't actively manage the outcome of a training flight. Remember that the ultimate objective is to develop lifelong, safe flying habits in your students."

  22. I concur with this commenter: She most likely ate up a lot of runway on the landing, applied power more than halfway down the runway (5600 ft) and began her climb out. High DA cause slow ascent rate. Then she saw the terrain approaching and panicked...pulled back and left on the yoke, stalled and pancaked in 1400 ft from centerline, and 90 degrees to the runway alignment. Exactly!

  23. >This *student pilot* should not have been doing touch and goes! Period.

    Nope. It highly depends on student, plane, and situation. Doing "touch and goes" on an 8,000 foot runway in a flat area is a LOT different than doing it on a 2500 ft runway with trees on either end. There is no "PERIOD" to such a silly blanket statement.

    That being said RIP to this young girl.

    I find it amusing that plane crashes happen all the time, but when it is a pretty blonde girl it gets 100 times the attention as the middle aged dentist. This one even came up on my web homepage. I'm not sure if that is good or bad for aviation.

  24. Open and review this Flight Track Log at . I do not know the intent of her flight, yet it appears she was completing a solo cross country flight (100 miles). If so, her CFI had to have signed off on her qualifications before the XC flight, per 14 CFR § 61.87 - Solo requirements for student pilots. ..

    My observation is, the recorded radar data depicts a jagged flight path with numerous course and elevation changes during the 70 min flight, contrary to proper XC flight planning, pilotage and dead reckoning. Was she prepared for this XC solo ?

  25. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the poster of this comment was acquainted/familiar with the deceased student and her flight capabilities.

    This *student pilot* should not have been doing touch and goes! Period.

  26. Stop reading the National Enquirer ----->>>> when it is a pretty blonde girl it gets 100 times the attention as the middle aged dentist.

  27. ^^ I got that impression too. Sounds like they knew this student and her flight training. Sad :(

  28. Was she prepared for this XC solo? I guess not.

  29. Density altitude isn't a thing until one experiences it for real. I remember being glad to be alive after chewing up the whole runway then creeping up.
    And yes if I crashed then I wouldn't get the coverage she is getting.
    Even the new York times reported on this!!!

  30. Flight instructor for over 40 years ... whatever that is worth.

    Instructed and allowed touch and goes for the first 10 years. Last 30+ have been full stop with taxi back. Occasionally a stop and go with a really LONG runway.

    Safer. Reenforces the after landing items/flow as well as the takeoff final items/flow. Slows everything down. Safer.

    We are about safety. Right?

  31. ditto, "Safer. Reenforces the after landing items/flow as well as the takeoff final items/flow. Slows everything down. Safer."

    Yet the descent on final, discontinue the approach, and go around is a must. From AOPA:


    A handy reminder for a go-around or missed approach is CCCC, for cram it, clean it, cool it, and call it. Cram it refers to adding full power. Clean it refers to retracting flaps (in increments) and landing gear. Cool it is a reminder to open the cowl flaps, and call it refers to announcing your action.

  32. Things have change so much in how student pilots are taught then I was back 40+ years ago. Maybe insurance requirements on the schools today. When I soloed, my CFI got out - 3 T&G's and then pick me up.

  33. Airport Map,-89.5403679,2459a,35y,38.81t/data=!3m1!1e3

  34. The insurance companies are the ones pushing for ever decreasing proficiency standards.

    Who can drive a stick shift anymore? same here who can fly a tailwheel plane anymore? what school teaches tailwheel and who can learn on one without having to buy one?

    If she had soloed on a Taylorcraft after being taught in one or a Piper Cub this kind of nonsense would never happen.

    Even assuming high DA and a tailwind how the hell can you crash a perfectly good and docile plane like a 172 on takeoff??


  35. >Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think the poster of this comment was
    >acquainted/familiar with the deceased student and her flight capabilities.

    If so then I stand corrected, sorry about that.

    The "glamour shots" with her hair in front of plane worries me. I always cringe when I meet a student who seems more obsessed with selfies than learning systems of the plane, or wants plane just for transport instead of interested in flight the plane itself. The Cessna 172 is our equivalent of a tricycle with wings, not a very aggressive plane, and from description sounds like some more training was needed...

    >Stop reading the National Enquirer ----->>>> when it is a pretty blonde girl it gets 100 times the attention as the middle aged dentist.

    That's my point. It was front and center in just regular old national news outlets. All note "beauty pageant contestant!!"

  36. " the hell can you crash a perfectly good and docile plane like a 172 on takeoff??"


  37. Right!
    The student pilot, Miss Little, was waaaaaaaay in over her head.
    What she should have been doing was a FULL STOP, clean up the aircraft, taxi back, (maybe a check-in with her flight instructor) and then continue with the approve or not permitted takeoff.
    Last 30+ have been full stop with taxi back. Occasionally a stop and go with a really LONG runway. We are about safety. Right?


  38. This cadet would have been under the supervision of a CAP Flight Instructor.

    Based on the erratic flight path and erratic and sometimes very slow ground speeds reported in FlightAware with light winds aloft it appears the cadet was ill-prepared to fly the route but released to do so.

    That Flight Instructor is carrying a heavy load of responsibility right now.

    I would not want to bear that burden. Personally I do not think I could handle it and that is why I have no real desire to be a flight instructor.

    Flight Instructing requires a level of firmness and judgement that can only be based upon maturity and experience.

    Sometimes you have to tell people (students/customers/parents) what they do not want to hear. If you do not, you are inviting/allowing trouble of all kinds.

    I agree with the poster about overemphasized social media presence.

    If one flies for bragging rights then that person is often not a competent pilot and is flying for the wrong reasons. They are occupied getting the picture or video and inevitably forget to navigate and read the fuel gauges, etc.

    Regardless of who and independent of why, a student pilot is dead and from horrible injuries.

    It is so sad to see. It rips your heart out.

  39. I'm a green private pilot with 500+ PIC hours and more than 5 years of learning that continues. I remember my instructor saying, you have your PPL, thats a Personality Progression License, I said what's that, he said your Personality (in flying) will Progress with Learning.

    I approach all flights with a sense of fear and respect, healthy fear leads to healthy respect.

    I have read quite a few of the MMQB comments here. My first solo was with three TnG, so was my second. There is nothing against TnGs.

    Recently my son said I will go to a 141 school and get my PPL in 2 - 4 weeks. I said, 'NO YOU WILL NOT!!'

    Like someone said, experience comes with age, its upto us older folks to say NO to someone ambitious and hasty. Not sure if the Instructor felt pressure to sign off for a quick PPL CR due to the (micro) celebrity status in the community, Alderman Dad, etc.

    This is a SAD and unnecessary loss for the community. And I cant imagine what the poor, frightened girl's last moments were!!

    God rest her soul! and give strength to her family, friends, her Instructor and the good folks at CAP.

  40. This perhaps should not be posted at this point. This is truly a sad situation but I need to say this. Touch and goes are bad? I soloed in the mid-60s and times were different. Spins were part of the instruction. Maybe if this young person had been through a few spins, she could have recognized what was about to happen. We make fun of the way foreign nationals learn to fly. They don't seem to be able to simply fly without - 1. Positive rate. 2. Gear up. 3. engage autopilot. We're dumbing down aviation the same way we have much of what we see going on around us. Like I said, Bad time to be saying this. I'm sorry for all concerned.

  41. I agree with ya Jim yanking a Cessna like that should feel as wrong as kissing your sister. She should know better.

    This gal sure looked good but just couldn't fly and sad shame to those that told her she could!! need to do a few spins for sure makes ya a better pilot.

  42. My concern is using a cap plane and instructor to obtain a ppl. I know I will hear backlash about this. However, we taxpayers are responsible for this activity. Most of us do not have access to such a program. The costs are born by us. Over the last few years, cap has had way too many accidents with injuries and fatalities. Most are not professional but part time pilots, and they make amateur mistakes. We have observed this many times at our airport. Very sad for the student pilot who had a goal and was working to obtain it. At some point, Congress needs to take hard look at this $600 million program and its mission.


    July 3, 2019 - Tucked among Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s 182 vetoes is a line that deletes most the state funding for the Alaska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Southeast Squadron Commander Lisa Marx says the $250,000 cut by the governor is needed to pay basic utilities like electricity, heat and internet for units like hers. Without that support, the Juneau-based volunteers won’t be able to stay active for long.

    “Because if I can’t keep my pilots and my other air crew current in their mission training, then in the event of a real emergency, I’m not going to have anyone that I can put in the air,” Marx said Wednesday. Many of the Alaska Wing’s 17 units lease heated hangar space. Wing Commander Timothy Hahn says the governor’s veto would make that unaffordable after October 1. “Everything’s going to have to be turned off,” Hahn told CoastAlaska by phone. “That may mean that we’re going to have to move some aircraft out onto tarmacs instead of being able to keep them in hangars, where they are, you know, fully prepared for search and rescue to where they may be iced over and buried in snow.”

    The Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force chartered just days before the U.S. entered World War II. It maintains a fleet of 16 federally-owned small planes scattered around the state that responds to disasters and is key for search and rescue in rural areas. It also runs a cadet program for Alaskans aged 12 to 18 to train as pilots and search and rescue teams. Unless overridden by the three-fourths of the legislature, the Civil Air Patrol officers say Gov. Dunleavy’s veto would jeopardize the future of these programs.

  44. Some really nasty and snide comments posted by old men who think they are God’s gift to aviation.
    Those concerned should be ashamed of themselves.
    Don’t any of you have sons and daughters yourselves...would you like to be reading second hand ineuendo about your loved one.

  45. Those "snide" comments are not by old men and they address basic safety of flight issues in Aviation, where rules are written in BLOOD and disregarding them is ground for immediate death with no judge and jury and no appeal.

    - Her XC flight pass is a mess and who the hell endorsed her for such an ill prepared trip and didn't see that at all during her training?

    - Per FARs any XC preparation starts with checking runway length at the intended destination airports and calculations regarding takeoff and roll distances. It is 100% obvious that she failed to do that or if she did, under the supervision of her instructor, it was just a pencil whipped exercise. For the runway where she did the TG was short and flanked by trees.

    - Even more than other cases the plane or mechanical issues will certainly not be at fault since this is a CAP airplane probably maintained by a Part 141 facility. So that leaves poor pilot preparation and pilot fault as the only case.

    - This was a fully preventable tragedy if the rules were followed.

  46. "Single-pilot resource management (SRM) is the art of managing all onboard and outside resources available to a pilot before and during a flight to help ensure a safe and successful outcome."

    => If the rules were applied properly the successful outcome of her XC fight shall have never been in doubt!

    5Ps, IMSAFE => If she had been properly training and not rushed through a puppy mill like process, with a teenage brain still not fully developed as numerous studies have shown the full maturity of mental faculties only happens by age 25, and/or be able to apply the 5Ps and IMSAFE, she would have recognized the potential for an unsuccessful outcome and aborted the TG or chosen an alternate airport with a safer and longer runway.

    Something terribly wrong happened not during that flight but her training and the events leading to this tragic flight. If there has to be massive publicity for this given her age and appearance let's make it a lesson to improve the safety of GA, not a sensationalistic story.

  47. The parents/guardians sent their naive teen to the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for flight training (or lack thereof), next up (almost immediately) was the Air National Guard. I would like to know how many years this deceased student pilot spent in the CAP. From what I have been reading the deceased teen enjoyed wearing Nomex Flight Suits for many photo opportunities --- this evidently was her top priority. (Feel important in uniform - okay I get it, I think) Where are the news media interviews with the CAP officer who is responsible for the safe flight of the deceased teen? Our tax dollars pay for CAP (a non-profit corporation established by Public Law 79-476), the flight instructor must be freely/openly available to accommodate public interviews about this fatal instructional flight.

  48. . only listed flight to KUOX

  49. .. no Airborne USAFX Civil Air Patrol "CAP" (CAP) Aircraft listed as airborne. Read one post on flightaware discussion that CAP blocks their flights, so it is interesting CAP2294/history exists.

  50. It is disturbing how many people feel the need to dissect the cause of the crash without having ANY real evidence other than a photo and a few eyewitness accounts. Please top guessing.

    Likewise the nasty comments that in essence blame the deceased and her family. Really? What is missing in your own life that prompts you to sit in judgment of others? This young lady was pursuing a dream and the path ended in tragedy. Such things happen, unfortunately, and the NTSB will figure it out. Let the professionals do their jobs and let the family try to heal. Again, stop guessing and keep your judgments to yourself.

    As a CFI, if this were to happen to one of my students I would be grief stricken. However, I would NOT conduct a public interview with an ignorant news media. I would NOT owe the public ANY explanation of how I trained my student. Any accounts or interviews would be on an official basis and only to those who actually understand aviation. Don't feed the ignorant. The CFI in this tragic case owes YOU nothing.

  51. I am aware of 3 people who are very familiar with the student pilot and her flying activities. They have real facts, not "guessing".

    "ANY real evidence other than a photo and a few eyewitness accounts. Please top (s) guessing."

  52. In my experience the Civil Air Patrol is a bunch of pretend fighter-pilot wannabes who like to play dress-up and create and defend their own little hierarchy and fiefdom. I have never really figured out why it is taxpayer supported given its lack of transparency, lack of welcoming all people for training instead of a few (yeah, no wonder SHE is getting free/subsidized training), and after incidents like this exposing egregious gaps in safety, training, or expertise, taxpayers should have a hard look at shutting it down.

  53. “CAP owns, maintains, and operates a fleet of 560 single engine aircraft. Based on CAP's current and future mission and services, CAP's fleet may need to be modernized, diversified, and/or upgraded.”

    CAP, a congressionally required nonprofit with 61,000 members who fall under the Air Force, aims to fly at least 100,000 hours of homeland security and defense missions, civil support jobs like imagery, transportation, and search-and-rescue missions, and other operations annually. Congress normally allots CAP enough money to buy 10-15 new Cessnas a year.

    CAP taps federal funds for training
    November 27, 2018 By David Tulis

    The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) announced a funding initiative with the U.S. Air Force to encourage youth to enter military, commercial, or additional aviation careers in the face of a pilot shortage that is expected to affect the future of air travel.
    The Civil Air Patrol announced a funding initiative with the U.S. Air Force to encourage youth to enter aviation careers. Photo courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol.
    The Civil Air Patrol announced a funding initiative with the U.S. Air Force to encourage youth to enter aviation careers. Photo courtesy of the Civil Air Patrol.

    The Youth Aviation Initiative includes $1 million for cadet flight instruction; $500,000 for science, technology, engineering, and math support; $500,000 for career exploration activities; and $400,000 for cadet orientation flights.

    “Cadets are vetted, and are out there and doing the work,” said Wendy Hamilton, the group’s manager of cadet career exploration programs. She was hopeful that the initiatives would enhance the CAP’s contribution to the aviation industry.

  54. My most vivid recollection of CAP is how we got a one hour lecture on hierarchy and the etiquette of who salutes who when an air force dude shows up. Mostly good intentionned people but in the age of AirBnB and Uber can't we have a p2P network of qualified pilots ready to do search and rescue on a moment's notice???

  55. according to the witness she was aborting the landing. the go around is a difficult maneuver for a student at this level of skill/experience. it takes quite a bit of practice for them to understand the sequence for configuring the aircraft. even after repeated practice they still tend to get the sequence wrong under stress of trying to avoid terrain. this sequence unfortunately doesn't matter at most airports where training goes on because they are normally fairly long runways with no terrain/obstacles in the departure area. i find i need to tell students that this is not important where we are learning to do it correctly and in the right sequence but that we need to do it properly to prepare for when it IS important. if you don't do it right when it is not important you will certainly not do it right when your life depends on it. we can hopefully learn from this experience and think more about where we send our students on their solo xc. sounds like this airport was at her new school and she wanted to do the xc to there. we are tempted occasionally to let our students do these kind of things.

  56. Dear current, as well as former, professional accident investigators,
    Thank you very much for your input on these tragic accidents. We truly appreciate all your hard work and efforts. General aviation has never been safer!
    Pilots and aircraft owners
    Southeastern US


    That is not a flight path, it's a piece of jagged art!

    And regarding the commenter above I agree a go around can quickly turn into a disaster... if the flaps are retracted too quickly and too soon.

    A very common newbie mistake. I remember my first go around and that sinking feeling when retracting one notch of flaps even with a positive rate of climb.

    I give it an 80% chance this is exactly what happened.

    And whatever it is... the 172 is a docile easy plane to fly so we can all scratch our heads on the chain of event that led to her being signed off on something she was obviously not ready for.

  58. Student pilot had fatal accident on July 6
    Student pilot checkride was scheduled with DPE for July 9
    External pressures?

  59. If the above is true this is simply insane and violates every tenet of the fundamentals of instruction.

    I bet she was only taught at the rote level, forget knowledge and application and even less correlation...

    Sadly most instructing stops at the application level but the FAA is trying to change that with Scenario Based training.

    Obviously whoever taught her had no friggin clue about how to teach and should surrender their instructor's certificate as a matter of procedure and stop teaching immediately.

  60. I recall a news reporter, during a media briefing, posed a question to the NTSB investigator about an upcoming checkride that the student pilot was scheduled to take within the next week.

    Here's some statements from the family members:

    My sister, Lake, was set to take her check flight on July 10 to obtain her private pilot license, Layton Little said.

    That was one of the last two flights Lake had to do before she got her official private pilot’s license, said Patton Little.

    Patton and Layton Little said they have unanswered questions about the crash.

  61. " ... how the hell can you crash a perfectly good and docile plane like a 172 on takeoff??"

    Airplanes, even new ones, are mechanical and mechanical things break.

    Pilots are human and humans make mistakes. An experienced pilot hopefully will make fewer mistakes but he/she is still human and makes mistakes.

    Most new pilots will live long enough to gain experience and make fewer mistakes. However, new pilots are human and some times the human element rears its ugly head.

    The 172 is one of the safest planes out there and like was often quoted on the Piper Cub, it will just barely kill you.


  62. 22,000 hour ATP/CFI Airline Pilot here. The “touch and go” issue really shouldn’t be an issue. It is simply another maneuver. Initial takeoff and landing training is IMO better full stop. No question there. But, prior to getting past the supervised solo stage, a student SHOULD be exposed to touch and go’s and demonstrate adequate proficiency. What if on solo, a student has to execute a rejected landing (go around after touchdown) ? It IS a potential situation and a student should be acceptably proficient in such a maneuver. Interacted with many new pilots with their Private certificate who have NEVER practiced partial power failures after takeoff either (bad magneto, etc.), what it’s like and how to handle it. Many pilots only do textbook stalls at altitude and are unproficient with more radical departures from controlled flight and or incipient spins. Same thing.

    She SHOULD have been capable of a touch and go if she had her PPL or was approaching it. That being said, what truly occurred is as of yet not conclusive, but for a CFI to toss a student out into the unsupervised solo phase unproficientbin touch and go’s is irresponsible IMO.

    1. Good post...I totally agree that prior to ANY solo, a student should demonstrate proficiency at aborting a landing and executing a go round from all phases of the landing. My instructor owned his own 2600 ft runway with lots of trees directly located on both ends. We had a municipal airport with a long, paved runway with no obstructions about 4 miles away. He would not take his students there until we soloed at his field because he felt that practicing an aborted landing on a long runway gives you a false sense of accomplishment. He would even have us abort in the flare right before touchdown and until you could consistently do this, no solo. It's so sad when a preventable accident like this happens...


  63. She's the prettiest pilot I've seen in a lonnngggg time.

  64. I didn't know CAP offered training in their planes. When I was a cadet many years ago we only got the rare "intro" flight in a 172. Was she getting special treatment or is this something new CAP is offering?

  65. Actually, the C172 is NOT an ideal trainer. Panel too high, does not give a good visual pitch reference. Power changes produce lots of change in control pressures, need to retrim. Barn-door flaps produce a LOT OF DRAG. Lots of right rudder required with full power, and on and on. Flight schools turned to the 172 as a versatile trainer for Instrument, early Commercial, etc, especially after 152 went out of production.

    No, student pilots should NOT be doing touch and goes SOLO, especially at an unfamiliar airport. Too much configuration confusion ensues, not to mention earlier poster's scenario!

    1. If you are not completely proficient at doing t&g's, than you have "NO Business" soloing the airplane.

  66. The C172 is not so docile, actually. It's under-powered in general, especially in warm, summer months, and yet changes in power require lots of control pressure to maintain pitch and lots of re-trimming. Also, lots of right rudder needed with full power. And Fowler flaps produce lots of drag, etc. High panel does not provide a good visual pitch reference for student pilots.

    Why was she doing touch and goes solo at an unfamiliar airport?

    Why was check ride scheduled before she had completed solo cross-country flights?

  67. Why did this very wealthy/affluent family send their child/teen off to CAP for flight training?

    "CAP does not normally provide primary flight training for members. That said, we do have a lot of members who are also Certified Flight Instructors and often willing to provide training to members at reduced rates. Depending on your locality, CAP members may also have access to military aero clubs and their flight instructors which can be significantly cheaper than going through a normal commercial operation. We have several scholarships that help CAP Cadets obtain a pilot's license. Once you have your license, you can fly with CAP CFIs in CAP aircraft to increase your ratings which can also be significantly cheaper than a commercial operation again."

  68. Clearly the student pilot was in great need of closer supervision and more training. CAP scheduled a designated pilot examiner (DPE) for her checkride?!?! In no way was she near the completion of pilot training, no way .... that's evident with this tragic accident.

  69. To whoever says a C172 has Fowler flaps they are mistaken. They have partial flaps. Generates the drag I love at 40 degrees to almost be an air brake on my DOCILE and good tempered 172H. Best plane ever built and best design ever.
    Dunning Krueger runs rampant in some...
    CPL SEL MEL, LSRM-A, Commercial drone pilot

  70. Don't you love how the CAP guys give themselves the rank of "General"? So heavy on the wannabe vibe.

  71. Correct I was in CAP for a year and couldn't take the cult mentality was worse than Boy Scouts when you get too old. We would parade around in flight suits then run laps around the hangar and only a few actually got in planes once in awhile. The rank and superior officer-worship was creepy as were most of the people running the thing.

    She would be one of the few for sure to fly as the old guys would ogle the few ladies in the bunch and treat them real special... Real quality instruction she got. RIP indeed.

  72. The flaps run on a track all the way down...and not necessarily docile for a student pilot, unless they're a "natural" and can fly anything.

  73. Gone too soon! Condolences to her family, her friends, and to us pilots.
    Lake will be missed.

  74. 5600 is a lot of runway for a 360 powered 172 with one aboard. Aircraft performance should not have been an issue, flaps or not. Balked landing should not have been an issue. It’s an easy airplane to fly and fairly forgiving. For some reason she got in over her head and panicked, just didn’t know “automatically” what she had to do to go around or set it down. Tragedy for her family and friends. Hopefully, those involved in her instruction will learn from her death because she was not prepared to deal with the situation she faced and did not just “fly the aircraft “. As has been said many times before, crashes are an accumulating chain of errors. Instructors have to identify these errors before they gain critical mass, isolate each error, and teach understanding, avoidance, and recovery until it is second nature.

  75. ^ Exactly!

    May her gentle soul rest in peace.

  76. So close to 70 hrs in her training and she wasn't able to do a simple basic ordinary cross country solo? Terrible lack of proficiency, and Aviation is unforgiving like that...

    CAP planes are also extensively maintained so no matter which way one thinks of it it's not the airplane or powerplant.

    Now considering her limited skills and her inability to maintain altitude and airspeed throughout the flight as seen on her flight track she may have leaned the engine too much or did something to damage the cylinder which is also a possibility.

    Every witness describes in detail a knee jerk reaction to go up by doing the wrong thing too.

    All in all a sad assessment of someone who was never ever prepared tot do this flight and somehow got endorsed and signed up in spite of what should have been glaring red flags and multiple warnings, which the NTSB will surely discover.

    Fundamentals of Instruction 101: Rote -> Knowledge -> Application -> Correlation

    They say most aviation training stops at the application level, but should have at least gone into correlation i.e Scenario based training, I suspect this one never made it past the Rote phase...


  77. To me, this accident seems to have very little to do with cross country and everything to do with managing a go around.

  78. Smart move and a great gesture from FedEx!
    Thumbs up!

  79. ^ Yep! Gotta love FedEx!

  80. Maybe she had some sort of mental issues maybe panic attack. My wife and I got scuba certified when we did our first ocean dive she had a panic attack her scuba days were over. Some people can have full on panic attacks never know they were prone to that. It's possible there was a fuel problem, or some sort of mechanical issues some mention carb ice.

  81. The people that mentioned carb ice were misinformed as the model of Cessna she was flying used a fuel-injected engine. You can't have carb ice if you don't have a carburetor. I'm thinking by landing with a tailwind this started the whole accident chain then she waited a little too long to initiate a go-around. She most likely dumped all the flaps too soon and the plane lost a lot of lift on climb-out when she was low & slow. This may have caused her to panic,pull back on the yoke, lose control and go in. I remember reading the story on this site of another young girl flying a C-150 on her solo cross-country flight. She had engine failure and set it down on a golf course but in a controlled manner. She walked away without a scratch and the only damage was a collapsed nose wheel. I believe her father was her CFI and owned the airplane. I bet he is very proud but also very grateful that someone was watching over her that day!

  82. In my first year of college at 19, I learned how to fly out of a US Air Force base aero club in the late 1980s. Our club's instructors were all either E-R graduates building up time for the airlines or current/retired military pilots. I was turned loose at 12 hours for solo. My first solo was three full stop and taxi-back/goes with my instructor watching.

    After that and my cut out t-shirt with instructor sig, I could do touch and goes solo whenever I felt like it on student solo trips both local and X-C (and I did). I don't know what training/monitoring quality or what yoke and rudder skillset this young lady had, but I am bothered by the fact that she had 70 hours with no private ticket at that point.

    Trainers like the 172 are purposely designed to be very forgiving and overly stable for a reason. To get one out of control like this even the most crucial takeoff/landing phase operations is troublesome - especially after 70 hours in one whether student or private ticket. And this is irrespective of the fact this model Skyhawk was fuel injected and didn't require carb heat control management which itself is responsible for many crashes in pilot mismanagement.

    Finally, the Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine in the 172R produces 160hp like previous series Skyhawks of recent decades, not 180hp like reported here.

  83. RIP; and for those who attempted to save her find resolution of likely PTSD, “Good Samaritans and first responders tried to extract the pilot from the cockpit. The seatbelt and shoulder harness retained the pilot in the cockpit. A ground fire subsequently occurred. Firefighters contained the fire, the pilot was extracted, and subsequently airlifted to a hospital."

  84. and then died of her burns. just a horror show all the way around.

  85. People that are posting saying this was a first solo and on takeoff.

    Read the article. She was on her first solo cross country flight and she was trying to land.

  86. "she was trying to land." downwind! As so far not noted by NTSP, no known attempt requesting the active on Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). Way back, student solo cross county prior planning with ur CFI involved contact with ur destination FBO (who ur CFI knew and would expect ur call when in the area) for any advisory info. Her family, CFI(s) and the CAP have lots of sole seaching and explaining !

  87. My point is she was not taking off or doing her 3 touch and go's for her solo.

  88. witness(es) indicated, 'The airplane did not touch the runway and abeam the windsock near midfield, the airplane started to climb at a "steep" angle ... indicated that there were no engine anomalies heard' . an apparent aborted landing and go around with the wind.

  89. Her flight instructor sent her to KUOX to accomplish 3 touch and goes as part of the solo cross country in preparation for the checkride the following week.

  90. Yep she was told to go there. No mention of her calling for a Wx briefing or anything related to 91.103

    91.103 Preflight action.
    Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include -

    (a) For a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which the pilot in command has been advised by ATC;

    (b) For any flight, runway lengths at airports of intended use, and the following takeoff and landing distance information:

    (1) For civil aircraft for which an approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual containing takeoff and landing distance data is required, the takeoff and landing distance data contained therein; and

    (2) For civil aircraft other than those specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, other reliable information appropriate to the aircraft, relating to aircraft performance under expected values of airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross weight, and wind and temperature.

  91. She was not cut to be a pilot. She was a social media star wannabe and no matter of how much FedEx is trying to capitalize on this her flight path is a jagged mess and she should have never been allowed behind the controls of a plane.
    And the most sickening part is the media attention because of the looky loo factor. Would it have been a middle aged dentist FedEx wouldn't be sending a post mortem reward letter and it would be a 5 second mention in the evening local news if that.
    Talk about discrimination and double standards.

  92. R.I.P. ----- So many have good words and a few have some bad words for her, mine will be in the middle, This is a tragedy for her and her family, nothing will replace her. Wings from FEDEX serve little but might give the family some chin up encouragement...... Those who trained her to this point need to review all they taught, she was able to fly the plane but something in her training was missed...... Could be that basic Carb Ice Dragon that sneeks up and bites ya at the most critical time in the flight....... hope thats not the case............ My her Family be at peace knowing she was loved by many for sure, just look at all who left a message to her here...................GOD BLESS, REST IN PEACE WITH OUR LORD IN HEAVEN.

  93. The "i" stands for fuel injection thus no carb heat. I don't think she cleaned up the plane after the touch and before the go. Imagine doing that in a Concorde in front of 250,000 people at Oshkosh?

    She had the looks but not the training. Thank God she didn't get her hands on an MD-11F.

    Thankfully this almost never happens.

  94. Looks/Style over skills it seems. When I did my first cross country solo it was as calm as ever and I was enjoying it to the fullest... freedom to go from A to B so much faster than a car. I did my first landing in Blythe and my second in Borrego and it was one of the best days of my life.

    There was a few chops but my pathway wasn't the seesaw that was her flight. I applied all I was taught and was as serene as my landings were exactly where I wanted them to be. I had 55 hrs total as I recall.

    Was she taught ADM and IMSAFE and if so how can she ever would have taken off for something she obviously didn't enjoy one bit and was scared to do in the end?

    The most basic tenets of aviation teaching were ignored in practice. Indeed a lot of questions to ask her CFI and whoever handed her the keys to the plane that morning.

  95. I know the report shows she made some errors during the flight (landing with a tailwind) but I wonder if the debris under the #4 exhaust valve caused a loss of compression and subsequent loss of power when she needed it most on climb-out. It could have been a perfect storm of errors and a mechanical problem that did her in. Aviation is unforgiving.

  96. Anonymous said:
    The insurance companies are the ones pushing for ever decreasing proficiency standards.

    Who can drive a stick shift anymore? same here who can fly a tailwheel plane anymore? what school teaches tailwheel and who can learn on one without having to buy one?

    If she had soloed on a Taylorcraft after being taught in one or a Piper Cub this kind of nonsense would never happen.

    1) Do you have evidence to support this? As an aviation insurance professional myself, I can assure you that we do are not "pushing for ever decreasing proficiency standards." On the contrary, we would like higher standards, but a lot of pilot don't want insurance companies telling them to maintain standards higher than those required by the FAA.
    2) I'm not sure I see the correlation between being able to fly a tailwheel aircraft and this particular accident. By this logic, everyone who did NOT learn in an TW is more likely to have an accident.

  97. To the insurance-related professional above yes evidence points to tailwheel teaching higher standards:

    Just among a plethora of evidence and articles.

    Secondly no insurance company will insure cheaply enough a tailwheel so any part 141 or 61 flight school has one. Just ask. One of my instructor tried to do it for his school and the quote that came back was worth more than the tailwheel plane was worth... per year!!!!

    The fact is tailwheel planes make one always be on their toes.

    No accident the first tricycle planes mass produced... Cessna 172 and 150s, were described as having an "automatic landing system" simply because once the main touched down there was no risk of ground looping and the thing became a stable tricycle.

    Proficiency be damned!!!

    Because... no flight is routine and a good pilot will always fly the plane until the propeller stops!!!!

    Soon as advanced autopilots will become routine thanks to drone technology making its way up the food chain to certified aircrafts I wouldn't be surprised if the "standards" allow for a student pilot to do their cross country just like the airlines.... 99% on autopilot and only needing to fly it manual 500 ft AGL.

    But that Asiana crash in SFO showed how many programmers it takes to still screw up a routine approach!

    I sincerely believe if that woman started her first 20 hrs in a tailwheel... either she would have given up early or become proficient enough to not die from a simple botched go around.

  98. What's a student pilot doing using a CAP plane for training without a certificated pilot on board ? Thought CAP regs required all pilots to be licensed.

    "CAP Checklist (Initial Requirements)

    Be a current, active CAP member at least 17 years of age
    Possess a valid FAA private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificate
    Possess a valid FAA Class III or higher medical certificate (not required for gliders)
    Possess a current flight review IAW FAR 61.56"

  99. so sad her first solo cross country looks like panic set in for some reason once that happens the short amount of training she had goes out the window, my prayers to the family

  100. "What's a student pilot doing using a CAP plane for training without a certificated pilot on board ? Thought CAP regs required all pilots to be licensed."

    She was in the CAP cadet program which can be offered as a scholarship program which I believe she was in, hence her CAP flight suit photo. An FAQ quote from CAP's website:

    "CAP does not normally provide primary flight training for members. That said, we do have a lot of members who are also Certified Flight Instructors and often willing to provide training to members at reduced rates. Depending on your locality, CAP members may also have access to military aero clubs and their flight instructors which can be significantly cheaper than going through a normal commercial operation. We have several scholarships that help CAP Cadets obtain a pilot's license."

    ^^Now what that does not detail is if cadets have access to actual CAP aircraft. I flew out of an AFB aero club and we didn't have a CAP auxiliary - didn't need it between USAF SAR assets and the US Coast Guard where I was. The aircraft I flew were owned by the USAF as trainers but marked in typical civilian N-number painting. I know one thing: I never had any write ups on those birds like I did with FBO based rentals.

  101. after observing the silly air patrol and their operations at various airports for the last 40 years i would NEVER advise anyone to learn to fly from them. sadly it's true here as in every thing get what you pay for! as in everything connected with the government they appear to be a bunch of clowns in fake military uniforms.

  102. I echo all of the sentiment that FedEx expressed in Captain Sebasco’s letter to Lake’s family, and add my sincere deepest sympathies. This report conjured unexpected emotion as I reflected back 25 years to my own solo cross countries as a teenager. The phrase “there but for the grace of G-d, go I…” comes to mind … especially as I reflect back on all of the learning and growth that I’ve enjoyed through additional experience and training since those early years.

    I’d like to offer a suggestion to all of us who are aviators today, aspire to be aviators, and/or who like me train future aviators. I’d like to suggest that one appropriate response to news like this, to the emotions we may experience, to the scant facts that are available, and so on is to take the opportunity to channel our grief toward recommitting ourselves to a couple of aviation safety principles, knowledge areas and/or skill areas. I find value in doing this, whether or not the accident investigation ultimately indicates that any of these were potential factors. Today, for all of us who fly or teach, I’d offer that we pause for a moment just remind ourselves one more time of the following (as many of you will recognize, these are not my original words or phrases):
    -Planning for a go-around and rejected landing
    -Effect of environmental elements on airplane performance
    -Low altitude maneuvering including the risk of stalls and spins
    -Distractions, loss of situational awareness, and the increased potential for either of these in certain high-workload situations, unfamiliar geographies/airports, and/or during airplane system abnormalities
    -Inadvertent slow flight and flight with a stall warning, which could lead to loss of control
    -Range and limitations of stall warning indicators (e.g., airplane buffet, stall horn, etc.)
    -Collision hazards, to include aircraft, terrain, obstacles, and wires
    -Aerodynamics associated with stalls in various airplane configurations, to include the relationship between angle of attack, airspeed, load factor, power setting, airplane weight and center of gravity, airplane attitude, and yaw effects
    -Stall characteristics (i.e., airplane design) and impending stall and full stall indications (i.e., how to recognize by sight, sound, or feel).
    -Factors and situations that could lead to an inadvertent power-on stall, spin, and loss of control
    -Fundamentals of stall recovery
    -Secondary stalls, accelerated stalls, elevator trim stalls, and cross-control stalls

    Many of you are pilots. Some of you are aviation professionals, aspire to be aviation professionals, or strive to emulate the positive habits of professionals in your personal flying. I’d like to suggest that for anyone in these categories, it’s a personal and professional courtesy to allow the accident investigators assigned to the case to be the sole source of statements as to the probable cause. By suggesting some areas for positive reflection and re-dedication going forward, I do not want to be misconstrued as commenting on the specific cause of this accident. In time we’ll learn what the pros, through their rigorous application of scientific method conclude. My list above is intended solely for reflection and incorporation into our own flying going forward.

    I offer the thoughts above because we urgently need to reduce the accident rate across all segments of aviation - especially general aviation. I love this blog as a resource for learning and safety inspiration, but I urgently want to see the level of activity on this site diminish - and the only way to achieve that is for us to reduce the accident rate. We have to get better. We will get better. Please fly safely. Tailwinds. May Lake’s memory be a blessing to her family.

  103. I disagree with Mr. Anonymous. I think that this is the appropriate venue for all of us to speculate and discuss this tragic accident. The posting of the flight path, discussions about CAP and it role, comments by experienced CFI's, etc.

    The final report will eventually come out. It will be distilled down to as factual as possible and that will also be a good source of information. That could be a year from now. In the mean time, let's keep the discussion going. Of course, you don't have to read or participate.

    Notice I am not afraid of posting my name.

  104. "after observing the silly air patrol and their operations at various airports for the last 40 years i would NEVER advise anyone to learn to fly from them. sadly it's true here as in every thing get what you pay for! as in everything connected with the government they appear to be a bunch of clowns in fake military uniforms."

    I'll be sure to pass those words of wisdom along to a friend's father, a retired Delta 744 captain and retired USAF(RES) Colonel, who volunteers at his Atlantic coast CAP auxiliary.

  105. >I'll be sure to pass those words of wisdom along to a friend's father, a retired Delta 744 captain and retired USAF(RES) Colonel,
    >who volunteers at his Atlantic coast CAP auxiliary.

    Please do.

    If he has a shred of integrity he would agree the Civil Air Patrol, writ large, needs reform. As a former member I would not train there. It should be disbanded and we should just have grants for promising young aviators, not a bunch of creepy old pretend Air Force wannabees or washed up retired heavy metal drivers.

    "Lake" is proof of their deadly lack of efficacy.

  106. We need regulations. We need the government. In moderate doses.
    Whoever generalizes and says the government is a bunch of ineffectual clowns is a clown himself.
    Now I know several CAP members and agree there are good and bad things about it, but in the end it boils down to a single CFI and Lake's training which was clearly deficient enough to have warranted a discontinuance of her airline ambitions.

    When I was riding motorcycles and did 200k on them in perfect safety, some saying struck me...

    Some riders do crash and want to ride again.
    Some riders do crash and never want to ride again.
    Some riders do crash and can't ride again.

    90% + in Aviation fall in the third category. A few orders of magnitude tighter tolerances...

  107. This reminds me of Arial Tweto from Flying Wild Alaska. Someone that probably shouldn't have been at the controls alone. Just not for a while. They just need to be scared a time or two to realize how serious flying the damn plane is. They either get smart or get out.

  108. Interesting to read a few of these comments as well as disappointing at the speculation. Nothing will bring my daughter back be it pilot error or mechanical issues. She had a great flight instructor who is active USAF for twenty and trains pilots currently at Columbus AFB. CAP does not allow touch and goes without the instructor and required to do stop and goes without the instructor. She never landed this plane. She was to take her check ride four days after this accident. Signed, a broken hearted father.

  109. David Little,

    If your daughter's instructor was so great, why did he allow her on a x-country flight she was ill prepared for?

    Look at the flight on fkightaware. This is not gossip. This is a mess of airmanship. No ability to hold altitude or airspeed.

    Sorry for your loss. She should have never taken on flying.

  110. This was not her first cross-country flight;
    She was a member of the Mississippi Air National Guard;
    Her instructor was with her at KGTR Golden Triangle Regional Airport - where the flight originated;
    She had flown to KUOX University-Oxford Airport on 2-3 prior occasions.

  111. Actual flight. Planned flight KGTR - KUOX of 4 legs @ 110 kts, 74 nm @ 41 minutes.

    The actual flight path has not be explained by those who knew the pilot, and when compared to what would have been an expected planned flight path is the reason the comments question Miss Little flight experience.

  112. August 19, 2017 = FAA student pilot certificate issued.
    An entire year and 5 months pass, and then ....
    October 5, 2018 = Pilot was issued a FAA third-class medical certificate with no limitations, on that application the student pilot reported 20 hours of total flight time, 13 hours logged in the preceding 6 months.
    10 months later ... July 2019 fatal accident and her total flight time estimated 69.4 hours.
    It took 2 years for the student pilot to get a cross-country solo flight.

  113. A fixed base operator at UOX reported that he heard the student pilot announce on the CTAF indicating that the airplane was landing on runway 9. The pilot's voice sounded "panicked" and she did not finish her sentences. The student pilot did not respond to the helicopter in the area asking for her location.

    Panic and anxiety = has no place in-flight, and especially, has no place in the cockpit.
    Not responding to other pilot(s) offering assistance and help = student pilot was not capable to coherently speak, possibly due to experiencing a full-blown panic attack.

    Anxiety and panic attacks = some people are completely unable to speak. Their thoughts are running all together in such a way they can't find the words they want to say... terrifying.

  114. 'flown to KUOX University-Oxford Airport on 2-3 prior occasions'
    'not her first cross-country flight'
    Reading the above two comments doesn't make matters any better, in fact it just got worse - in my personal opinion.

    FBO said the aircraft wasn't positioned where it should have been, as a matter of fact the FBO didn't even see the aircraft in the area when he heard the student pilot on CTAF notifying the air traffic that she was in the area. Unresponsive to FBO and the other pilot attempts at communicating were unsuccessful. I can only imagine that the next step in protocol would have been to dispatch F-15 jets to scramble to intercept the unresponsive plane.

  115. Look at the sharp left turn she took. I can only speculate that she thought she saw her destination airport then after over flying it realized that wasn't where she was going.
    Terrible alt. and airspeed control. Heading and course were not much better. In way over her head it seems.
    Her dad said she had a great instructor. I'm sure he is a very good pilot but could he teach? No mention of his success or failures as an instructor.

  116. well, "She had flown to KUOX University-Oxford Airport on 2-3 prior occasions."

    Could be the actual meandering flight path was to build time, practicing maneuvers for her final check ride.

  117. Is it possible that the zeitgeist of modern feminism played a role in this tragedy? Are we more 'afraid' to aptly criticize a woman these days due to this ubiquitous social reality? Was her CFI unrealistically encouraging, at the same time leery of realistic criticism of this attractive female student's real abilities in the cockpit? Did this student have a false sense of confidence inspired by such undue encouragement? In every applicable case, CFIs need to bluntly tell students that their skills are lacking. Not everybody is cut out to be a pilot, let alone a commercial pilot, just like not everybody is cut out to be a professional athlete, regardless of aspiration. To be clear, my comment has nothing to do with sexism; women may be excellent or superior pilots (e.g., Patty Wagstaff and Denali's Raven). Rather, it has to do with how women are treated in a challenging environment with absolute standards in which typically-politically-correct subjective gynocentric standards can lead to death.

    "Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."

  118. Her inability to speak on the radio and apply the 3 Ps or DECIDE is also a glaring clue of her not being cut out to be a pilot, especially when the Process part of the last P is about TEAM i.e Transfer comes first and that means always think about delegating as much of the workload to ATC, or outside help. Which she failed to do even in the light of people realizing she was in trouble and offering help i.e the FBO and helicopter pilot.

    Where is her ADM? Her SA and AM?

    Unlike other field you learn those things not just to pass the exams and checkride but also STAY ALIVE. Not forget about them or throw them out at the first sign of panic.

    I know Mr Little will be reading this so all I can offer to you are my condoleances.... and the sadness that no one cared or told her to stop it in time as she wasn't cut out to be a pilot, and she had deficiencies that would threaren her life if she was alone in a cockpit.

  119. It sounds like Ms. Little was inadequately trained for, and negligently signed-off for, the solo cross country--neither of which were her fault.

  120. I’m so glad you keyboard warriors weren’t around when my friend crashed and died.

    With the advent of being anonymous we are so vile, snarky, and unsympathetic.

    Everything aside, a family is grieving and all we can do is speak ill of the deceased? We are better than this. We should instead of tearing down this poor aviator look at how we can help the future one avoid this same tragedy.

  121. The "poor aviator" and her *flight instructor* utilized poor judgement of flight and inability to make appropriate decisions and then just forced it on the FAA, NTSB, DOT, CAP and others. CAP and its flight instructors - they have some serious management and focus problems.

  122. If we sugar coat Ms. Little's "achievements" then we validate the sub-par training she got and most likely an inability to fly an airplane.

    The later is absolutely A-OK since most of the population at large is not qualified nor able to fly an aircraft due to a variety of circumstances, inherent genetic predispositions or health issues, etc...

    What is not OK is her being at the controls of an aircraft in spite of being not competent to do so. The NTSB can dissect if it's an undiagnosed panic attack/health issue or just bad training in their final report but the bottom line is the preliminary report lays out black and white there were already serious deficiencies in her pilotage and landing attempts already warranting the concerns of those who could see or hear her on the radio.

    This has nothing to do with vile comments or a personal attack, rather a case study to avoid for others and hopefully a warning about how peer pressure, here a sort of social media + family history + CAP combination, let to all those cheese holes aligning perfectly on that fateful day.

  123. Wow it seems the first people to get to the crash could not get her out because of a seat belt then a fire started she was burned. She probably would have walked away if it wasn't for that seat belt. I always carry a folding knife on my belt just in case I need to cut something like a seat belt. Sad to think a seat belt saved her life also took it.

  124. So sad to read of such a promising young persons life coming to such a premature end while engaging in an activity we all love. May God bless her soul.

    RIP and condolences to the family.

  125. GPS equipped Aircraft, RWY09 equipped with Localizer, Pilot not aware of current Position, Student Pilot with 69 hours flight time, that rises a lot of questions. Good Looking Woman does not always mean a Good Woman Pilot!

  126. Based on the flight track on FlightAware at and based on the history so far, this may have been what happened:
    1) The student pilot waits with her instructor for a line of thunderstorms to pass through her home airport, KGTR. As soon as they pass to the southeast, her instructor clears her for her solo cross-country northwest, to KUOX.
    2) On climbout, at (FlightAware altitude) 2,500 feet, #4 cylinder stops generating power, because something stuck under a valve is preventing compression.
    3) She can only maintain around 80 knots at 2500 feet straight and level, so she turns back toward KGTR intending to land at her home airport.
    4) She sees the vicious thunderstorms that just passed the airport to the southeast, and remembers many warnings to stay far away from thunderstorms, so she turns and continues toward the next closest airport, Houston (M44).
    5) The runway at M44 looks short compared to her very long home runway, and the engine is still running at reduced power, so she continues to the next airport to the northwest, Calhoun (04M). It looks even shorter, and the engine is still running, so she decides to continue toward her intended solo destination, KUOX.
    6) Now feeling committed to fly all the way to KUOX, she tries to climb to 3500 feet. She makes it to 3500 feet, but the engine is so low on power that the airspeed bleeds off to almost 60 knots in the climb.
    7) Now heading toward KUOX, she follows the roadway toward KUOX, inadvertently descending lower than she should (900 feet) because she is using a visual reference on the ground and is low on power. She may also be fiddling with radios for Unicom at KUOX.
    8) When she sees the runway at KUOX, she feels a sense of extreme urgency to land, and incorrectly chooses the downwind runway.
    9) The tailwind approach and the runway that is shorter than her home runway leaves her overshooting the runway. She realizes that a go-around will be necessary, so she applies power for the go-around.
    10) The engine will not develop full power, but she pulls back on the yoke anyway in an effort to pull the airplane back up into the sky (rather than keep the nose low until the aircraft can gain speed again with limited power).
    11) Without any flaps, at low power and a nose-high attitude, the airplane begins a spin and crashes into the golf course.

  127. That sounds pretty reasonable to me too, that situation would scare me too.

  128. If you are not completely proficient at doing t&g's, than you have "NO Business" soloing the airplane.

    A C-172 is a hand full on final,{for a student} when applying flaps, there needs to be substantial trim adjustment to be able to handle the pressure on the yolk. On a T&G the airplane, is sensitive in pitch as you apply and retract the flaps. My point is that the strength needed to counter the flap change and keep the airplane in the proper flying attitude, as you chase the trim to counter the pressure, could be tough for a smaller person, while dealing with the workload of transitioning from landing to takeoff. T&G's in my experience is the perfect way to get a feel for the airplane for takeoff and landing in a repetitive way. But before solo, a student "must" be completely proficient with an instructor first!

  129. Fully agree with your Statement above. My CFI, thats now fifty years ago, just did let me go for my first Soloflight after he was sure that I can handle it and I was always in Radiocontact with him in case of troubles!

  130. She was a pretty girl who was involved in many activities, like the charities and beauty pageants. All of it would have given her less time to learn vital skills, and would have been a distraction. She had just grad high school with excellent grades. She was taking on too much. When you have a super achiever beautiful pageant girl, they get constant accolades, which CAN lead to over confidence. The findings will be released, and show that she stalled the plane. Rest in peace, precious girl, you'll be young and beautiful forever now.

    1. She was burnt alive and ended up the quite opposite of beautiful in her last agonizing moments. I agree with your first part this was a tragedy of highest proportions and she probably did not have time to practice or just think about flying in between glamour shots. The CAP idiots who "trained" her should be held responsible for their role in the charade. R.I.P.

  131. "On climbout, at (FlightAware altitude) 2,500 feet, #4 cylinder stops generating power, because something stuck under a valve is preventing compression." What is this theory based on? Do you realize that Flight Aware shows groundspeed?

    1. Responding to the question from Anonymous: On FlightAware
      you can run the time-slider along the blue altitude/speed strip at the bottom of the map so it moves forward in time and shows exact speeds and altitudes. If you have your FlightAware options set up to view knots instead of miles per hour, you see a very brisk initial climb. Even at 2200 feet in a steep climb, the C172 is making 112 knots. This is really good power for a C172, what you would expect when it is nearly empty. But then, when the time slider is at 2 minutes, the airplane levels off at around 2500 feet. But when it levels off after its steep climb, does it gain speed like you would expect? No, the speed abruptly drops off, as low as 79 knots, while the airplane is flying level or even descending. A C172 that is lightly loaded dos NOT fly at 79 knots at full power, or even low cruise power. This is a huge, obvious, event. The airplane did not change direction when the speed dropped, so you can't blame the wind (yes, GPS does show groundspeed, but you would have to have an instant wind shear of 40 knots to explain this change--not a chance). For the rest of the flight, she struggles to maintain the airplane above 75 knots when in level flight, only managing to get above 80 knots while descending. Even with a headwind, it should have been showing way better than 80 knots. The initial FAA report said they did not get compression on cylinder 4 because they found something stuck under a valve. So they sent it off for further testing. Sounds like that is your culprit. Regarding the storms, FlightAware does a freeze-frame of the radar picture at some point during the flight. This flight was less than one hour long, so I can only assume the storms had just passed when she left for her flight. It's all pretty obvious on FlightAware for anyone who has ever flown a C172 and knows the normal speeds.

  132. Wind at 310 degrees at 11 knots. And she is landing on runway 9, not runway 27. ??? Those CAP dorks signed this woman off for a solo cross country, and she could not enter a traffic pattern properly. Sorry guys, some people are not cut out to fly, no matter how much they want it. The CAP, with their phony ranks and uniforms set this girl up to fail. Sad reality.

  133. All you guys complaining about "touch and goes" obviously didn't read the initial report very closely. It said she was attempting to land, never touched the runway and abeam midfield increased power and began to climb. That is an aborted landing, not a touch and go. At least give her credit for recognizing that she was running out of runway. Yeah, she made some mistakes after that which cost her life, but at some point we've all been there. Some are just luckier than others.