Monday, April 20, 2020

Low Altitude Operation/Event: Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N75765; accident occurred April 19, 2020 near Take Five Airport (WN45), Kittitas County, Washington

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Yakima Aero Club Inc

Location: Yakima, Washington 
Accident Number: WPR20CA125
Date & Time: April 18, 2020, 17:30 Local 
Registration: N75765
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Low altitude operation/event 
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that he chose to conduct a low approach over the private airstrip to familiarize himself with it and then go around. He approached the airstrip from the north and entered the left base leg. After turning onto final, the airplane was on a stabilized approach. About 20 ft above ground level, he applied full power, pitched the nose up, and retracted the flaps. The airplane would not gain altitude and was quickly approaching the uphill elevation of the airstrip. The airplane narrowly cleared the hill at the end of the airstrip but continued to lose altitude. The airplane impacted terrain, went over an embankment, nosed over, and came to rest inverted. The fuselage and wings were substantially damaged. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to attain sufficient altitude during a go-around, which resulted in impact with hilly terrain.


Aircraft Altitude - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Mountainous/hilly terrain - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR go-around Miscellaneous/other
Maneuvering-low-alt flying Low altitude operation/event (Defining event)
Approach-VFR go-around Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N75765
Model/Series: 172N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1976
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17267934
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 17, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 20 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9625 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360 SERIES
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: YKM,1099 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 19:00 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 197°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 160° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Chelan, WA (S10) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Yakima, WA (YKM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 16:59 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 46.773056,-120.440551(est)

Kittitas County Sheriff
Plane crash 10 miles South of Ellensburg

Kittitas County, WA - 04/19/2020 - Sheriff Deputies and medical units responded to the area of Rosa View and Arrowhead Drive, where a small plane was said to have gone down.

Deputies found a Cessna 172N Skyhawk flown by 39-year-old Josh Soracco and occupied by 46-year-old Kristina Ring and 21-year-old Jessie Ring, all of Yakima, attempted a low approach flyover of the runway and was unable to gain enough altitude to clear the ridge. The plane clipped the hillside and flipped. All occupants self-extricated and Kristina was later transported by KVFR to Yakima Memorial with back and neck pain. All other occupants had minor injuries. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were notified.

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