Saturday, December 07, 2019

Loss of Visual Reference: Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N537HF; accident occurred November 30, 2017 at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (KTMB), Miami-Dade County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miami, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Miami, FL
Accident Number: ANC18LA014
Date & Time: 11/30/2017, 2301 EST
Registration: N537HF
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of visual reference
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On November 30, 2017, about 2301 eastern standard time (EST), a Cessna 172 airplane, N537HF, impacted taxiway lights after landing in the grass south of runway 9L at Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (TMB), Miami, Florida. The private pilot and sole passenger sustained no injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was being operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 visual flight rules personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed TMB about 2230 for a local area flight.

According to the pilot, while approaching TMB, he was issued a landing clearance by the air traffic control tower (ATCT) to land on runway 9L. The pilot stated that when entering the traffic pattern, he heard the ATCT controller state that the tower was closing. After turning onto the final segment of the traffic pattern and seeing the runway numbers, the ATCT controller said good night over the frequency just prior to the runway lights extinguishing. The pilot then lost sight of the runway, but still saw blue taxiway lights to the right of the airplane. He continued for landing and after touching down impacted an object on what he perceived as the runway. When he exited the aircraft to investigate, he realized he landed in the grass and had impacted a taxiway light, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing and lift strut.

The Airport Facilities Directory states that the ATCT at TMB is only open from 0700 EST – 2300 EST (1200Z – 0400Z). When the ATCT is closed, high intensity runway lighting is available only for runway 9R/27L, and is controlled by the pilot on frequency 118.9 (ATCT frequency). To manually control the runway lights, the pilot would have to click the microphone seven times for the lights to be turned on maximum intensity, five times for the lights to be turned on medium intensity and three times for the lights to be turned on low intensity. At TMB, when the ATCT is closed, there would be no runway lights available for runway 9L, but all taxiway lights would be illuminated and controlled in conjunction with the runway 9R lights. The pilot stated that he did not activate the pilot-controlled lighting prior to touching down.

A memorandum from the Air Traffic Manager at TMB ATCT includes the following (times have been converted from UTC to local):

22:52:55 - N537HF made initial contact with the tower advising them that they were 10 miles east and inbound for landing;

22:53:12 – PRE-CLOSING statement made as per the closing checklist;

22:55:55 - Local Controller begins closing statement. N537HF is on a 2-mile base to final;

23:01:38 – Last radar target of N537HF.

A review of the airfield lighting logs showed the lights were on and transitioned to pilot-controlled lighting at 23:06:50.

The pilot stated there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The closest official weather observation station is TMB. At 2253, a METAR was reporting, in part, wind 010° at 6 knots; visibility 10 statute miles; clouds and ceiling clear; temperature 70° F; dew point 64° F; altimeter 30.05 inches of Mercury.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 43, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/01/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 192 hours (Total, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N537HF
Model/Series: 172
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17280891
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/29/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 5 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8280.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTMB, 10 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0353 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 120°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 10°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Miami, FL (TMB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Miami, FL (TMB)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 2230 EST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 10 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5003 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

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: 25.651389, -80.439444

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