Friday, May 08, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 180H, N89SJ; accident occurred May 05, 2020 in Hanksville, Wayne County, Utah

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hanksville, Utah 
Accident Number: WPR20CA139
Date & Time: May 5, 2020, 18:30 Local 
Registration: N89SJ
Aircraft: Cessna 180 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, during the takeoff roll in the tailwheel equipped airplane, he felt a gust of wind hit the airplane. When the tail came up, he was unable to maintain directional control and the airplane veered to the right, departed the runway onto rocks, and ground looped. The right wing and fuselage were substantially damaged.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane 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 maintain directional control during the takeoff roll, which resulted in a runway excursion and ground-loop.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information
Certificate: Private 
Age: 64,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 26, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 13, 2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 2577 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1290 hours (Total, this make and model), 2577 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 34 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 22 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Passenger Information

Age: Male
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification:
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: UNK 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N89SJ
Model/Series: 180 H
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18051923
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 1, 2019 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6650.6 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-470- SERIES
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 260 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: CNY,4590 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 68 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 22:55 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 240°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 15 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Terrain Induced
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Light
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Moab, UT (CNY)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hanksville, UT (UT03)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Hite UT03
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3840 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: W
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2200 ft / 40 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 37.349998,-110.230003(est)

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