Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N2173Z: Incident occurred November 11, 2019 at Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), Alameda County, California -and- Accident occurred July 03, 2017 at Shreveport Downtown Airport (KDTN), Louisiana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland

Aircraft experienced a propeller strike on landing.


Date: 11-NOV-19
Time: 02:30:00Z
Regis#: N2173Z
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 172
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Location: Shreveport, LA
Accident Number: GA1A7CA389
Date & Time: 07/03/2017, 0830 CDT
Registration: N2173Z
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


The solo student pilot reported that, during the first approach to land, the airspeed was about 10 knots fast. He added that, during the flare, he attempted to correct the airspeed by "pitching back," but the airplane bounced hard and then porpoised on the runway. He further added that he initiated a go-around and subsequently completed a normal landing after two additional go-arounds.

The right elevator, fuselage, and firewall sustained substantial damage.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The student's improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing. 



Personnel issues

Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight


Hard landing (Defining event)
Abnormal runway contact

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 41, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/29/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:  
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 34.9 hours (Total, all aircraft), 34.9 hours (Total, this make and model), 1.1 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5.1 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N2173Z
Model/Series: 172 R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17281216
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/12/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8014.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDTN, 179 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1800 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 3800 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: SHREVEPORT, LA (DTN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: SHREVEPORT, LA (DTN)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0826 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 179 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3200 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Go Around; Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.540278, -93.745000 (est)


  1. Wow did I read this correctly? He has 35 hours as a student and only logged 1 hour as PIC behind the controls on his own as solo? That's a lot of dual hour instruction time to have only 1 hour of solo PIC time. Most people solo within the first 20 hours of lessons. I think this landing incident explains a lot with poor airspeed management. Ten knots over the book landing reference speed? At least he got it on the ground still in one piece after the third try. Being "substantial" damage as referenced here by the FAA might make this bird a write-off by the insurance company.

  2. An interesting observation - which raises a question.
    The military has well defined progress through the training program. You CAN fail and washout.
    Civilian programs don't seem to have any 'make progress or leave' points. I don't intend to be crude - but as long as the checks cash, the student continues.
    At some point, can an instructor decline to continue with a student?
    Can/should an instructor counsel a student that 'this isn't working out'?
    Can/should an instructor inform the plane owner that this student is a high risk to the airplane?
    Can/should an instructor revoke the "safe for solo" signoff?
    and so forth and so on.
    I'm not implying that this accident pilot was unsafe, or his instructor was pressured or whatever. This accident opens a broader discussion of civilian flying training.

  3. At some point, can an instructor decline to continue with a student? YES- and have
    Can/should an instructor counsel a student that 'this isn't working out'? YES- and have
    Can/should an instructor inform the plane owner that this student is a high risk to the airplane? YES- and have
    Can/should an instructor revoke the "safe for solo" signoff? YES- and have
    and so forth and so on. YES, YES and YES

  4. Part of the Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI) spell out that Flight Instructors need to wean out students whose mental or physical traits are preventing them from becoming pilots.
    Then again most of the instructing I went through hardly applied those hard facts... judging the training mostly stops at the application level after rote and knowledge.

  5. Ten knots over approach speed at 75 knots vs. 65 knots for a 172 and 30 degrees of flaps - assuming he even had full flaps in on final. That's 15% faster airspeed than called for. To extrapolate that, if you were landing a Learjet 45 with a Vref of 135 knots, you'd be landing at 155 knots. Or trying to anyway before floating down and running out of runway. Cancel this career student's ticket like yesterday.