Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Controlled Flight Into Terrain: Cessna 172F Skyhawk, N817PS; accident occurred February 06, 2020 in Palmer, Alaska

Additional Participating Entity: Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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

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


Location: Palmer, AK

Accident Number: ANC20CA018
Date & Time: 02/06/2020, 1230 AKS
Registration: N817PS
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot, while conducting a low altitude pass over a frozen, snow-covered lake in his wheel-equipped airplane, he misjudged the airplane's height above the ground. The airplane's landing gear contacted the snow and the airplane descended. Subsequently, the left wing and propeller struck the ground and the airplane came to rest upright on the snow-covered terrain, sustaining substantial damage to the left wing.

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

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that the accident may have been prevented if he had done a better job of evaluating the flight scenario and had properly addressed the risks involved with low level flight over a snow covered landscape. In addition to, the visual illusions associated with those conditions.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 33, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/14/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/03/2020
Flight Time:  714 hours (Total, all aircraft), 180 hours (Total, this make and model), 619 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N817PS
Model/Series: 172F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1965
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17252705
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/28/2020, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-300 SER
Registered Owner: Alaska-Yukon Aviation Ministries Inc
Rated Power: 145 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:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4800 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.76 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK (MRI)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Anchorage, AK (MRI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 AST
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude:  61.410278, -148.086667 (est)

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