Friday, March 20, 2020

System/Component Malfunction/Failure (Non-Power): Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N66046; accident occurred March 17, 2020 at Palm Beach County Park Airport (KLNA), West Palm Beach, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Accident Number: ERA20CA130
Date & Time: 03/17/2020, 1535 EDT
Registration: N66046
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional


According to the flight instructor, after a normal preflight inspection and engine run-up, the student pilot taxied to the runway for takeoff and began the takeoff roll. Everything seemed normal as the airplane accelerated; however, as the airplane rotated, it started to yaw left. The instructor attempted to assist the student correct the left yaw by applying right rudder. He was unable to correct the left yaw, so he took over the flight controls and aborted the takeoff. The airplane bounced to the left and impacted a retention pond bank. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the airplane reported that the forward fuselage and firewall were buckled, that the nosewheel steerage linkage was broken, and that rust was noted on the fractured surfaces.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the nosewheel steerage linkage during takeoff, which resulted in a loss of directional control and impact with an obstacle during an attempted aborted landing.


Aircraft Landing gear steering system - Failure
Aircraft Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)
Takeoff Loss of control on ground
Takeoff Attempted remediation/recovery
Takeoff-rejected takeoff Abnormal runway contact
Takeoff-rejected takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/23/2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/11/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 318 hours (Total, all aircraft), 318 hours (Total, this make and model), 249 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 81 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 68 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Age: 59, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/27/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 55 hours (Total, all aircraft), 55 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N66046
Model/Series:172 S 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number: 172S9786
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/16/2020, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 84 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 11025.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: KPB, 0 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:182° 
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2900 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: West Palm Beach, FL (LNA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: West Palm Beach, FL (LNA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1535 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Palm Beach County Park (LNA)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 14 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 10
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3489 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 26.593056, -80.085000 (est)

LANTANA, Fla. — A small plane made a hard landing at Lantana Airport on Tuesday afternoon, authorities say.

According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, crews responded to the airport, located at 2633 Lantana Road, around 3:45 p.m.

A Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP made a hard landing and was at the end of the runway.

Officials said two people onboard the aircraft were not hurt.

The plane had a small fuel leak as a result of the landing, but that leak was quickly stopped by firefighters.

The cause of the hard landing is under investigation.

Original article ➤


  1. this Plane was Repaired I flew it in July 2020 after the incident. and March 2021

  2. 6/23 preflight startup okay, noticed load noise under front seats, possible cable, at first brake check and braking thereafter. Shut down and alerted operations.