Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 172M Skyhawk, CF-HGQ; accident occurred February 25, 2019 at Bellingham International Airport (KBLI), Whatcom County, Washington

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

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: Bellingham, WA
Accident Number: GAA19CA148
Date & Time: 02/25/2019, 1050 PST
Registration: CFHGQ
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while taxiing to the runway for takeoff with the yoke "left and push[ed] in," a wind gust from the right lifted the right wing. The pilot was unable to maintain control and the wind continued to push the airplane to the left off the runway. The airplane subsequently nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and empennage.

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

The airport's automated surface observation system reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 030° at 20 knots, gusting to 29 knots. The pilot was turning the airplane right onto runway 34. Based on this information, the calculated crosswind component while taxiing into takeoff position was about 19 knots. The airplane manufacturer reported that the maximum demonstrated crosswind component was 15 knots.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B, "Taxiing" stated, in part, the following:

When taxiing with a quartering headwind, the wing on the upwind side (the side that the wind is coming from) tends to be lifted by the wind unless the aileron control is held in that direction (upwind aileron UP). Moving the aileron into the UP position reduces the effect of the wind striking that wing, thus reducing the lifting action. This control movement also causes the downwind aileron to be placed in the DOWN position, thus a small amount of lift and drag on the downwind wing, further reducing the tendency of the upwind wing to rise. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper crosswind correction during taxi operations in gusting crosswind conditions.


Crosswind correction - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Crosswind - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-into takeoff position
Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 45, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
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: 02/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 380 hours (Total, all aircraft), 90 hours (Total, this make and model), 142.9 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 1.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 0.7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: CFHGQ
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 17262358
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/24/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4245 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O320-E2D
Registered Owner: Thomas Ostrow
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBLI, 149 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1853 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 239°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 20 knots / 29 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.86 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / -12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Delta, BC (CZBB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Bellingham, WA (BLI)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0956 PST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Bellingham Intl (BLI)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 171 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6700 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 48.795556, -122.533056 (est)

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