Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Cessna 182K Skylane, N2601Q: Fatal accident occurred September 22, 2020 in Lincolnton, Georgia

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Aerospace Technologies; Mobile, Alabama

National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Preliminary Report
Location: Lincolnton, GA 
Accident Number: ERA20LA329
Date & Time: September 22, 2020, 17:12 Local 
Registration: N2601Q
Aircraft: Cessna 182 Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:

On September 22, 2020, at 1712 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182 airplane, N2601, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Lincolnton, Georgia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A review of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tracking data revealed that the pilot departed Cherokee County Regional Airport (CNI), Canton, Georgia about 1530. He flew to Barrow County Regional Airport (WDR) Winder, Georgia, and remained there for about 30 minutes. He then departed for his home airport, a private field in Lincolnton, Georgia, at 1638.

About 1710, the airplane approached a field and pond located on land owned by the pilot’s family, about 3 miles south of the private airport. A witness who was mowing the grass surrounding the pond reported that the airplane flew “low” towards him and then over the pond in the pilot’s “standard ‘I’m home’ fly by.” Another witness who was also mowing around the pond, reported that the airplane “buzzed the pond” at an altitude of less than 60 ft above the ground. The airplane then “pulled up to normal flying altitude” and circled in a left turn before it approached the pond a second time. The witness estimated that as the airplane approached the pond its altitude was less than 50 ft above the ground. At one point, the airplane flew between two groups of trees with its right wing pointing “almost straight up in the air.” The airplane struck the ground at the edge of the pond, and briefly became airborne again before it impacted the water and came to rest partially submerged. The second witness did not observe the impact due to trees obstructing his view, however he reported that the sound of the engine was “steady” until he heard a “thump” followed by a “shoosh” which he surmised was the impact with the ground and then the water.

Examination of the accident site by two FAA inspectors revealed that the airplane sustained severe impact and crush damage forward of the empennage. Both wings were separated from the fuselage and sustained leading edge damage. The engine remained attached to the fuselage. The propeller assembly (both blades and hub) was separated from the flange. One propeller blade was twisted and bent about mid span, the other blade was slightly bent near the root and slightly twisted near the tip. 

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna Registration: N2601Q
Model/Series: 182 K Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: IIY,645 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C /11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Winder, GA (WDR)
Destination: Lincolnton, GA (PVT)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.789493,-82.469268 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Colen Floyd Mattison
June 13th, 1996 ~ September 22nd, 2020 

Colen Floyd Mattison, 24, of Lincolnton, Georgia died Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020, as a result of injuries sustained in a plane crash.  Affectionately known as “Cole Baby” to his community, Cole graduated as an honor graduate from Lincoln County High School in 2014.   While in high school he was a member of the golf and the baseball teams.  His abilities on the baseball field allowed him to play in many positions, but friends and family seemed at peace when they saw him on the pitcher’s mound.  Cole was able to control a baseball field with his calm demeanor and smart thinking.  He spent many weekends traveling across the southeast with travel ball teams during his middle and high school years. Cole was a member of Lincolnton Baptist Church and accepted Christ in February 2007.  

Cole graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2020 with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering, an ideal marriage of his perfectionism and innate math skills. He was hired by Lead Edge Design Group as a design engineer just a week after graduation – allowing him to combine his education, his pilot’s license, and his love for anything-aviation.  While Cole had dreams of taking over the business he watched his daddy grow from the time he was a little boy, Mattison and Associates Land Surveyors, his newfound affinity for the application of surveying within the airport design and economic development realm meant that he had truly found his passion.

On weekends Cole could be found on the lake with a boat full of friends, at his farm where people of any age were welcomed, or flying in his plane and living life to the fullest.  He never went anywhere that he didn’t know someone or that he left without making a new friend.  

Cole is survived by his father and mother, James Frank Mattison, IV, and Janice Floyd Mattison, and sister Julianne, his grandmothers Jane Guillebeau Mattison and Rose Mock.  Cole was predeceased by grandfathers Colen Floyd “PaPa” and James Frank Mattison, III, “Butch”.  He is also survived by a special friend of the family, Thomas Garnett “Poonk”.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of friends are celebrating his life and how his infectious smile had a way of touching the hearts of everyone he encountered.   

Friends and loved ones are asked to join the family as they remember this precious life that God allowed them to be a part of for twenty-four years on the airstrip of his farm at 1324 Elberton Highway at 6:00 PM Sunday, September 27, 2020. A private memorial service will be held with immediate family at the church preceding his celebration of life.

November-Two-Six-Zero-One-Quebec is flying high and is forever in our hearts.

Beggs Funeral Home 200 May Ave., Lincolnton, Ga. is saddened to announce the death of Colen Floyd Mattison.


  1. He's listed as the registered owner (1966 model 182). Not many 20-somethings out there who own their own aircraft, especially these days. Wonder what happened. RIP young man.

    1. I'm a 20-something with my own aircraft.

      Not for much longer though... 30 is quickly approaching!

    2. Awesome and good on you! If you are anxious of hitting 30, wait until you hit the 40 and 50 marks. And believe me it will happen a LOT faster than you think. So enjoy your youth now! And fly safe young man...

    3. Can only agree! Life turns faster and faster! Soon 70!

  2. Was flying over his father’s land, Dad was outside cutting hay. Not takeoff or landing, son was just flying over and crashed in pond.

    1. Probably slow flight, went below the minimum maneuvering speed, stalled and spun.

    2. Not uncommon in such circumstances to point a wingtip at the homestead and fly a tight pivot, easy to get into accelerated stall doing that.

  3. last recorded
    Tue 17:07:52 33.8304 -82.5537 ↘ 111° 121 139 1,900 -120 Descending
    Tue 17:08:12 Arrival () @ Tuesday 17:08:12 EDT
    Tue 17:08:12 33.8249 -82.5416 ↘ 123° 127 146 1,800 -300 Descending

    1. Crash was off White Rock Road. That last recorded data point is 5 miles west of White Rock Road. The track log shows the last place that ground receivers picked up ADS-B but does not provide insight into the rest of the flight.

      The "arrival" line in the log is generated by software and particularly misleading in this case.

      Why not link the source, so there is full context?

    2. "he crashed into the bank of the pond on his dad’s property on White Rock Road."

  4. Airplane 101: You have to keep the airplane above stall speed lest you possibly crash, and just as possibly, lose your life. Sad.

    1. @jplumbbob, the wings didn’t fall off, the empennage was still attached, the airplane hit the ground inverted from a low altitude. Occam’s razor.

  5. "The Cessna 182 is nose heavy, if flying just just pilot,or pilot and copilot and no one in the rear seats,adding 50lbs or so in the baggage compartment helps reduce the stall speed (changes the center of gravity towards the rear), feels like if you are getting more elevator authority at landing speeds."
    19 October, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I concur on your comments regarding nose heavy Cessnas. They were engineered for backseat and baggage loads, and flying them light with one or two in the front seats has them far forward in the envelope, and on some aircraft, even outside the envelope. I recommend the extended baggage mod to everyone that flys their Cessna under the typical loading of one or two people."

  6. Consider for a moment that someone who is cutting hay with a tractor is unlikely to notice a straight flyover at normal altitude. A pilot's spur of the moment decision to maneuver in a manner sure to draw attention can be all it takes to go beyond limits of physics or machine performance and lose control.

  7. "The 182 had a relatively high total accident rate and it probably still does. The simpler accidents come mostly on landing. The problem there is with pilots using more flaps than they really need for landing. At forward cg a full-flapped 182 will slow rapidly when flared and if just a tad high the airplanes can pitch nose down right before it touches and that can cause all manner of craziness. I seldom used more than 20-degree flaps on my 182." @

    1. After 30 years of flying and landing many types, I had a devil of a time landing a 182. You are right, with 1 or 2 only in front the nose drops to the runway if you are too high and too slow. I am very sorry to read about this young man....I hope his training is examined. How horrible for his family.

  8. It's those quick spur-of-the-moment decisions that can get you into trouble quick.

  9. Had nothing to do with nose heavy. Pilot was doing extreme maneuvers while low and slow. Predictably, stalled and cartwheeled into pond. High energy impact. Pilot’s careless operating caused this family tragedy. Glad only one soul onboard. RIP.

  10. NTSB preliminary report includes witness description of crash:

  11. Now that the NTSB preliminary report is out, this tragic story should be given a fresh posting on KR with appropriately phrased text reminding readers of risks associated with low level maneuvering.