Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Abnormal Runway Contact: Cessna A185F Skywagon 185, N60934; accident occurred August 01, 2020 at Spaulding Airport (1Q2), Susanville, Lassen County, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Oji Brothers Farm Inc

Location: Susanville, California 
Accident Number: WPR20CA275
Date & Time: August 1, 2020, 12:00 Local
Registration: N60934
Aircraft: Cessna A185 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, the winds at the time of takeoff were about 17 mph from the east. After he departed a runway from the southeast, the airplane weathervaned into the wind and was pushed to the left side of the runway. The pilot quickly corrected the movement, but in doing so the airplane's right main landing gear impacted the runway surface hard. Seconds later after he departed, the pilot flew low over the runway for ground observers to inspect the landing gear, but they reported no abnormalities. The pilot returned to the departure runway, but shortly after landing, the right main landing gear separated. The right wing was substantially damaged.

The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies that could 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 takeoff with a tailwind, which resulted in a subsequent collapse of the right main landing gear.

Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Tailwind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Attempted remediation/recovery
Takeoff Other weather encounter
Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing Collision during takeoff/land
Landing Part(s) separation from AC

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 76, 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): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/29/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/12/2020
Flight Time: 9889 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3111 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N60934
Model/Series: A185 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18504079
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/16/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1391 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3111 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: IO-550D3B
Registered Owner: Oji Bros Farm Inc
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Oji Bros Farm Inc
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: , 4149 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1155 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 240°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.15 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / -14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yuba City, CA (O52)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Susanville, CA (1Q2)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Spaulding (1Q2)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5115 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 16
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4600 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

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: 40.650278, -120.768611

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