Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 177RG Cardinal RG, N2629V; accident occurred July 26, 2020 at Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL), Polk County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

EYW Flying LLC

Location: Lakeland, Florida
Accident Number: ERA20CA276
Date & Time: July 26, 2020, 15:05 Local
Registration: N2629V
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG 
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, while preparing to start the engine, he felt stressed and rushed because he was departing later than planned, and the weather forecast along his intended route was forecast to deteriorate as the day progressed. He followed the checklist, though after the accident he was unsure if he had properly set the parking brake or he may have inadvertently disengaged the brake with his leg/knee, which had occurred previously. After the engine did not start on the first attempt, he followed the flooded engine procedure, which included setting the throttle to the ½ position. When the engine started on the second attempt, the airplane began rolling forward. He attempted to stop using the brakes, but his sandals, which were wet, slipped off the rudder pedals. He further stated that “in a panic, I rapidly advanced the throttle instead of retarding it.” The airplane struck a building and sustained substantial damage to the right wing and engine mount. 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 control of the airplane during the attempted engine start.


Aircraft Surface speed/braking - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Standing-engine(s) start-up Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: October 15, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 26, 2020
Flight Time: 168 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18 hours (Total, this make and model), 112 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N2629V
Model/Series: 177RG No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 177RG0635
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 25, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4123 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1B6D
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 200 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: LAL,142 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:50 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 294°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4400 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 180° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lakeland, FL (LAL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Key West, FL (EYW)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:00 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 142 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
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: 27.987499,-82.01889 (est)

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