Monday, March 30, 2020

Hard Landing: Cessna 170B, N2946D; accident occurred July 14, 2019 at Bison Municipal Airport (6V5), Perkins County, South Dakota

View of windscreen damage.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of fuselage damage. 
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rapid City, South Dakota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bison, SD
Accident Number: GAA19CA487
Date & Time: 07/15/2019, 1340 CDT
Registration: N2946D
Aircraft: Cessna 170
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The pilot of a recently purchased tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, upon landing, the airplane veered left. He attempted to correct with rudder and tapping on the brakes, but the aircraft ground looped.

The pilot further reported that he believed that "the landing gear was out of alignment."

Photos of the fuselage damage, provided by the FAA inspector, are consistent with a hard landing and ground loop.

The FAA inspector further identified the last annual inspection was conducted on October 1, 2014.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wind screen.

An automated weather observation station located 31 miles to the north, reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 220° at 3 knots. The airplane was landing on runway 29. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 75, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/23/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/12/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N2946D
Model/Series: 170 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1955
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 26889
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2990 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-300
Registered Owner: Donald Abner
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: KHEI, 2705 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2253 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 345°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 220°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bison, SD (6V5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:None 
Destination: Bison, SD (6V5)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0900 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Bison Muni (6V5)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2791 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3500 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:N/A 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.518333, -102.467778 (est)


  1. We do get some very strange reporting here 'He thought the landing gear was out of alignment' ?? well it is certainly out of alignment now !

  2. What is it with tail draggers running off the runway. I'm glad I built a three wheeler.

  3. "What is it with tail draggers running off the runway."

    Improper training and proficiency. A tail dragger is all rudder all the time while balancing brake, not just on takeoff or landing rollout with a three-axis wheeler. It requires much more rudder work and balance with brakes. Tail traggers are also more prone to ground loop accidents, but again, that relates back to pilot competency. Note this guy only had 7 hours in type and he only recently bought it. My guess is that is the only experience he had in a tail dragger and spent his other 3,493 hours in tricycle aircraft.

    1. No need to guess - his horrendously unedited voice to text rendered statement to the FAA about not knowing the "quills" can get out of line on a "tell Drager" also included a claim of 500 hours in a 7AC Champ, which of course has a tail wheel.

      If the carelessness in wordsmithing the voice to text statement for the FAA form is a measure of owner attention to detail, "thair mott bee udder thangs knot wright inn hiz tell Drager"!

  4. For what it is worth, the last inspection on the plane was listed on the FAA report as 11/??/14.