Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Cessna 172H Skyhawk, N1658F: Accident occurred January 06, 2020 in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

Location: El Monte, CA
Accident Number: WPR20LA062
Date & Time: 01/06/2020, 1309 PST
Registration: N1658F
Aircraft: Cessna 172H
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On January 6, 2020, about 1309 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172H airplane, N1658F, sustained substantial damage following an in-flight separation of a propeller blade while maneuvering near El Monte, California. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Mondo Beyondo Thrill Squadron as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which originated from San Gabriel Valley Airport (EMT), El Monte, California, at 1109.

The pilot reported that he was conducting an engine cylinder break in while orbiting the city of El Monte at 3,500 ft mean sea level. During the uneventful flight, the airplane suddenly vibrated severely followed by a sudden loss of engine power and oil on the windscreen. The pilot noticed that the propeller was not rotating and there was visible damage to the engine cowling. The pilot initiated a forced landing to EMT and landed uneventfully.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the engine mount was bent and one of the propeller blades was separated about 1 ft outboard of the blade root. The propeller was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1658F
Model/Series: 172H
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Mondo Beyondo Thrill Squadron
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEMT, 296 ft msl
Observation Time: 2147 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / -4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: El Monte, CA (EMT)
Destination: El Monte, CA (EMT)

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: 34.085556, -118.035000 (est)


  1. Experienced a propeller malfunction. So, what does that mean exactly? Did it fly off in flight? That would not be good. SMH.

  2. Maybe lost a portion of the propeller? it happens, no conspiracy or craziness here. Throwing a chunk of prop tip can cause massive imbalances, and potentially damage our destroy a healthy engine.

    1. A mystery! For clues, we have:
      Flight school aircraft; fixed pitch prop; flight aware shows looping around pattern (not cross country flying) that day and returning to the runway; report here lists:
      Event Type: ACCIDENT
      Damage: SUBSTANTIAL
      Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
      Since it lists en route for the phase, throwing a chunk of prop or flying off in flight would seem to be the candidates.


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