Sunday, May 03, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna A185E, N7711L; accident occurred May 04, 2019 at Porter County Regional Airport (KVPZ), Valparaiso, Indiana

View of damage to the right wing and aileron
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; DuPage, Indiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Accident Number: GAA19CA244
Date & Time: 05/04/2019, 1340 CDT
Registration: N7711L 
Aircraft:Cessna A185 
Aircraft Damage:Substantial 
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that he was performing stop-and-go takeoffs and landings. During a takeoff roll, the tailwheel lifted off the ground, and the airplane encountered a significant wind from the left. He applied left aileron and right rudder to compensate for the wind, but the airplane ground looped to the left.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing and right aileron.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot added that a "slower application of the throttle and keeping the tailwheel on the ground longer during the takeoff roll, will prevent this type of accident from occurring in the future."

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper throttle application and subsequent failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll in gusting left crosswind conditions, which resulted in a ground loop.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation (Cause)
Variable wind - Effect on operation (Cause)
Crosswind - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Attempted remediation/recovery
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 38, 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: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/11/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/06/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 187 hours (Total, all aircraft), 24 hours (Total, this make and model), 61 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 39 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7711L
Model/Series: A185 E
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture:1969 
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 185-1521
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/23/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3548 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 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: KVPZ, 770 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1856 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:141° 
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 14 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: VALPARAISO, IN (VPZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: VALPARAISO, IN (VPZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1340 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Porter County Rgnl (VPZ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 770 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7001 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; 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: 41.453889, -87.006944 (est)

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