Saturday, January 18, 2020

Propeller Blast: Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N22905; Accident occurred December 15, 2019 at Yokota Air Base (RJTY), Tokyo, Japan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Accident Number: ANC20CA014
Date & Time: December 15, 2019
Registration: N22905
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Prop/jet/rotor blast/suction
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The operator's operations chief reported that an air traffic controller instructed the flight instructor and pilot to taxi to a taxiway and that, subsequently, the airplane encountered prop wash from a larger airplane on the same taxiway, which flipped the airplane onto its right side and resulted in substantial damage to the forward wing spar. The larger airplane's pilot reported that he was conducting a highpower engine run on the same taxiway. The air traffic controller did not tell the pilots in the smaller airplane at any time while they were taxiing about the larger airplane's intentions. The pilot of the larger airplane reported that all requests for engine start, taxi, and high-power engine runs were coordinated with air traffic control (ATC). He added that they had to reposition due to a tailwind and that he had made a radio call to ATC and acknowledged that they had repositioned on the ramp to face into the wind. He added that he heard the lighter airplane receive a taxi clearance but did not hear any communications questioning the larger airplane's status or position with respect to any potential impact on aircraft taxiing behind them on the taxiway. He became aware of the lighter airplane's situation after the event when its pilot made a radio call to ground control.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The airplane's encounter with prop wash while taxiing behind a larger airplane that was conducting a high-power engine run on the same taxiway. Contributing to the accident was the air traffic controller's failure to inform the smaller airplane's pilot about the larger airplane pilot's intentions.


Aircraft Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation
Personnel issues Lack of communication - ATC personnel

Factual Information

History of Flight

Taxi-to runway Prop/jet/rotor blast/suction (Defining event)

Taxi-to runway Roll over

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 40,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 18, 2019
Occupational Pilot: UNK
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 697 hours (Total, all aircraft), 227 hours (Total, this make and model)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Military
Age: 29,Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 12, 2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 671 hours (Total, all aircraft), 51 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N22905
Model/Series: 172 M 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17264078
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 12, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9142.7 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4M
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RJTY,456 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 06:56 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 17°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 50° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.32 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: Yokota Air Base RJTY
Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 463 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 35.741111,139.346664(est)

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