Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Runway Excursion: Cessna 421C Golden Eagle, N21SG; accident occurred April 13, 2016 at Furnace Creek Airport (L06), Death Valley National Park, California

Airplane as it came to rest. 

View of left wing and landing gear.

Recent Inspection. 

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Death Valley, CA
Accident Number: WPR16LA092
Date & Time: 04/13/2016, 1105 PDT
Registration: N21SG
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On April 13, 2016, about 1105 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 421C airplane, N21SG, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing at Furnace Creek Airport (L06), Death Valley National Park, California. The airline transport pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was privately owned and was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from St. George Regional Airport (SGU), St. George, Utah, about 0945.

The pilot stated that the flight was uneventful and that he entered the airport traffic pattern to land on runway 33 at L06. He stated that the airplane touched down within the first 500 ft of runway, and that upon application of brakes, he found the right brake "very soft" and "totally ineffective." The airplane departed the end of the 3,065-foot-long runway and the nose landing gear collapsed, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The airplane was not examined following the accident and was subsequently ferried from L06 to another airport for repair. No information was made available regarding the right brake, and the reason for the malfunction during landing could not be determined.

The pilot did not submit the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident report form 6120.1. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Flight Engineer
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/17/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  11000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 435 hours (Total, this make and model), 4720 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 70 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N21SG
Model/Series: 421C
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 421C0039
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/12/2016, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 7500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5576 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: GTSIO-520 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 375 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: KDRA, 3230 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 42 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 77°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: St George, UT (SGU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Death Valley, CA (L06)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0945 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Furnace Creek Airport (L06)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: -210 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3065 ft / 70 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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: 36.460556, -116.879722 (est)


  1. My favorite large piston engine twin. I had a partnership in the 414 variant (lower powered at 310hp per side) but it was still a beast. We always got a kick out of the poor saps in their non-cabin class Barons and Senecas on O2 below us trying to climb over weather...knowing they paid more for less. These hulls are slowly disappearing as they age but they are built like an ox and this one will be back up in the skies some day.

  2. "...and this one will be back up in the skies some day."

    Turns out you're right. This one is back in the sky. This past Tuesday it flew a short hop in the Seattle area.