Monday, May 04, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 172K Skyhawk, N7367G; accident occurred March 09, 2019 at South Jersey Regional Airport (KVAY), Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Mount Holly, NJ
Accident Number: ERA19LA194
Date & Time: 03/09/2019, 1805 EST
Registration: N7367G
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 9, 2019, at 1805 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172, N7367G, sustained substantial damage during a runway excursion while landing at the South Jersey Regional Airport (VAY), Mount Holly, New Jersey. The private pilot and the passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to a private company and operated by the Windwalker Aero Club, Lumberton, New Jersey, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The departure location and time are unknown.

The pilot stated that the flight was uneventful until landing. During landing rollout, when he started to apply the brakes, his seat back collapsed, and he lost site of the runway. The pilot said that when he was able to sit back up, he saw the airplane had veered off the left side of the runway and struck a segmented circle.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuselage was substantially damaged. The pilot's seat back was found disconnected on the left-hand side of the seat base assembly attach point. The bolt head that attached the seat back to the seat base had sheared off from the seat back assembly.

This accident was initially reported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an incident and was later upgraded on June 11, 2019, to an accident. Under the initial auspices that this was an incident, the FAA did not retain the bolt (P/N: AN#-17A) and asked the operator's maintenance provided to remove the bolt and retain it for possible further examination. The bolt was removed and given to the manager of the aero club, who later reported that he had misplaced the bolt. As such, the bolt was not examined and its failure mode is unknown.

According to the FAA, the airplane's last annual inspection was completed on September 15, 2018, at a total time of 3,451.42 hours. The most recent 100 hour inspection was completed about a month before the accident on January 8, 2019, at a total time of 3,552.92 hours.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single and multiengine, and instrument airplane. He was also a certified flight instructor for airplane single-engine land. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second-class medical was issued on July 10, 2017. At that time, he reported a total of 12,000 flight hours.

At 1754, the weather reported at VAY was wind from 120° at 6 knots gusting to 16 knots, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/23/2017
Flight Time: 12000 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7367G
Model/Series: 172 K
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17259067
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/08/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3552.92 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 SERIES
Registered Owner: N7367g Llc
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: VAY, 52 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1754 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 16 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point:
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Mount Holly, NJ (VAY)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Unknown

Airport Information

Airport: South Jersey Regional (VAY)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 52 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3881 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

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: 39.000000, -74.000000 (est)


  1. Misplaced the "suspect" bolt? I'd use my "frown & thinking" emoji if there was one on this site.

    1. Club manager: "what bolt?" ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      And was it one long shaft bolt that goes thru both the left side and right side? If not, then there is one bolt/nut at left attach point and a second bolt/nut at the right attach point. Did anyone think to go get that second one and see if it was per spec and then do metallurgy on it?

      And if one side came loose, did the tab on the other side bend? So much not told.

  2. File a lawsuit against the manager and the aircraft/seat manufacturer(s) and watch the bolt magically appear. What an a-hole.

  3. Luckily on the roll out and not when he rotated could have been much worse

  4. Bob Cameron, A&P/IA (Crewdawg Aviation) died on February 5, 2020;
    Windwalker Aero Club went out of business on February 18, 2020.

  5. And that is why aircraft bolts are very different from something down at the local hardware store,not pointing any fingers we are here to learn just saying that cad AGS is very different and that is why you pay the extra.

  6. I have folding lawn chairs older than most Cessna 172s, and have never experienced a failure. Wonder why Cessna has such a problem with seats?

  7. Not unlike me back in the 1980s as a teen driving some old 1970s boat with a plastic wheel that was deteriorated from sunlight. I was on top of the seat back with my feet in the seat and hit the throttle. The wheel ripped out from its hub and I went into the back seat while the boat planed out. Fortunately I was able to get to the throttle and cut it.

    When I started flying first in 172s, I was always extra careful to make sure the seat was fully engaged in the lock position before starting the engine. There was some play in those late 70s-80s models we flew and it took a solid butt wriggle to double check security. That boat incident always kept me on guard for seat issues where I'm no longer holding the control(s).