Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Abnormal Runway Contact: Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N737WA; accident occurred July 11, 2020 at Pickens County Airport (KLQK), South Carolina

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbia, South Carolina

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Flying Taco LLC

Location: Pickens, South Carolina
Accident Number: ERA20CA249
Date & Time: July 11, 2020, 13:40 Local
Registration: N737WA
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The student pilot reported that while practicing touch and go landings, he “came in a little faster than normal” on the 7th landing. During touchdown, the airplane bounced several times, each bounce “harder/higher” than the previous. He attempted to perform a abort the landing but the nose landing gear struck the ground “hard” and the propeller struck the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage. 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 student pilot's improper landing flare and improper recovery from a bounced landing, which resulted in a hard landing.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Student/instructed pilot
Personnel issues Incorrect action performance - Student/instructed pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Abnormal runway contact
Landing Hard landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student 
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
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: April 27, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 18 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N737WA
Model/Series: 172 N 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1977 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 17269722
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 26, 2020 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2299 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 8520 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-H2AD
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 160 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: LQK,1014 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:35 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 18°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Greenville, SC (GMU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Pickens, SC (LQK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 12:30 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1013 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 23 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5002 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and go

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.810001,-82.702774(est)

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