Friday, December 25, 2020

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N9646Q: Accident occurred December 21, 2019 near Rush City Regional Airport (KROS), Chisago County, Minnesota

 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 Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Hawk Aviation Inc

Location: Rush City, MN
Accident Number: CEN20LA042
Date & Time: December 21, 2019, 13:06 Local
Registration: N9646Q
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On December 21, 2019, about 1306 central standard time, a Cessna 172M airplane, N9646Q, collided with trees following a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from Rush City Regional Airport (ROS), Rush City, Minneapolis. The student pilot was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was operated by Hawk Aviation Inc, Rush City, Minnesota, as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The student pilot reported that he had completed an uneventful 15-20 minute flight in the airport traffic pattern with his flight instructor immediately before the accident flight. The student pilot stated that that he did not lean the fuel mixture during taxi, and that leaning was typically only done during cruise flight. The student pilot stated that he did not shutdown the engine while his flight instructor deboarded the airplane on the airport ramp. After the flight instructor deboarded, the student pilot taxied to the hold-short line for runway 16 where he completed an abbreviated before takeoff check, which included verifying that elevator trim was positioned for takeoff, carburetor heat was turned off, flaps were fully retracted, and that the fuel mixture control was full rich. The student pilot noted that he did not complete an engine runup before takeoff.

The student pilot stated that he taxied onto the runway 16 centerline where he briefly held the brakes as he advanced throttle to takeoff power. He stated that the takeoff roll was uneventful, and that liftoff was achieved with about half of the runway remaining. The student pilot stated that the airplane had climbed to about 200 ft above the runway when the engine began to sputter and had a total power loss. The student pilot stated that the propeller continued to windmill after the loss of engine power. The student pilot momentarily "froze-up" before he reduced airplane pitch to establish best glide airspeed and avoid an aerodynamic stall. The student pilot initially thought he could land in a field directly south of the runway, but he subsequently determined that the airplane would not clear a power line that preceded the field. The pilot reported that the airplane collided with trees as he maneuvered to avoid the power line. The student pilot stated that after the accident there was fuel "raining" down into the cabin from the damaged wings. After the accident the student pilot placed the electrical master switch to OFF, turned off both magnetos, repositioned the fuel selector from BOTH to OFF, and pulled the mixture control knob full aft.

The student pilot's flight instructor told Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors that he had received feedback from maintenance personnel that he should lean the fuel mixture during taxi to avoid fouling the sparkplugs. The flight instructor stated that he teaches his students to pull the mixture knob back about 1.5 inches during taxi. The flight instructor stated that he told the student pilot to lean the fuel mixture while they taxied back to the ramp following the previous flight.

The airplane and its engine were recovered from the accident site and retained for additional examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N9646Q
Model/Series: 172 M 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: ROC,926 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C /-5°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 180°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rush City, MN (ROS)
Destination: Rush City, MN (ROS)

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: 45.697223,-92.952224 (est)

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