Saturday, February 01, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 140, N4098N; accident occurred December 16, 2019 at General William J. Fox Airfield (KWJF), Lancaster, Los Angeles County, California

Airplane wreckage.

Damaged vertical stabilizer. 

Damaged propeller and right wing tip. 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lancaster, CA
Accident Number: WPR20CA045
Date & Time: 12/16/2019, 1445 PST
Registration: N4098N
Aircraft: Cessna 140
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

The flight instructor and the student pilot who was on the controls, were taxiing for departure when the airplane started to veer to the right of the taxiway centerline. In an attempt to correct the directional movement, the student pilot applied the brakes quickly. The flight instructor reported that he could not intervene quick enough before the airplane nosed-over and came to rest inverted on the taxiway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage the right wing and vertical stabilizer.

The flight instructor reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures prior to the accident that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane.

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 23, Female
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/20/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/06/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/27/2019
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 9840 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11 hours (Total, this make and model), 8962 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 65 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 9 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4098N
Model/Series: 140 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1947
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 13556
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/19/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1451 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5197.3 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-200-A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 100 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As:
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: WJF
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1354 PST
Direction from Accident Site: 
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 50°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.32 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Lancaster, CA (WJF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lancaster, CA (WJF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  PST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: General Wm J Fox Airfield (WJF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2350 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 06
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7201 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 34.738611, -118.216389 (est)


  1. Taxiing a little fast I am sure. Lots of time in a C-140 and it is easy to do, but with 2 on board it had to be a severe braking issue to make this happen- suspecting power was added for some reason as well.

    Wondering why it "veer to the right"

    1. Full description in the 6120 form. Student practicing steering with some left/right manipulation in taxi. Sun in eyes, got off track and punched the brakes.

      Nice looking 140, hope it gets patched up and flying again.