Friday, December 11, 2020

Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N1956V: Accident occurred December 09, 2020 at Glencoe Municipal Airport (KGYL), McLeod 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

Location: Glencoe, MN
Accident Number: CEN21LA083
Date & Time: December 9, 2020, 18:30 Local 
Registration: N1956V
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1956V
Model/Series: 172 S 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held:
Pilot school (141) Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: GYL,993 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:30 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: -16.7°C /-19.4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Glencoe, MN
Destination: Brookings, SD (BKX)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Minor
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None


  1. Can someone explain to me how this still happens? Just a thought, if you approach the plane from the rear, maybe this could be avoided. Just sayin'

  2. Head down, thumbing the cell phone, perhaps?

  3. Assuming the passenger wasn't a rated pilot, it seems obvious (and will be to a jury coming up. . . )that you don't start the engine until the passengers have boarded and are strapped into the plane. There is no rush to get going. Sorry, but this is all on the pilot. The prop was stopped when the passenger left. Never do anything fast around an airplane. I haven't looked up the Zulu time for MN, but it's getting pretty dark at that time here and props are invisible in the dark or when you are distracted by all the lights.

    1. It's not necessarily "on the pilot". Without knowing the intentions of the the pilot or passenger. It is possible that the pilot taxied to their "spot" turned off the engine, passenger gathered their "stuff" and disembarked toward the car. The pilot, after recognizing the passenger was at a safe distance from the aircraft, started the engine to move the aircraft to a different location. Once the passenger was at their car, they realized they "forgot" something in the plane. Knowing that the pilot was leaving, they made a dash toward the plane not "thinking" about that spinning prop. We all know the outcome of walking into a spinning prop.
      It is, in most cases, a catastrophic injury, or even worse, life ending.
      At this juncture, we just don't have all the facts so its just spatulation

    2. Sounds like you have it figured out.

    3. I hadn't thought of a passenger returning to the plane after the pilot thought they had left completely. Good point. It does seem like it's unplanned coming back to the plane on a second read. It's probably still a point to remember that as a pilot you need to monitor the passengers behavior once they leave the cockpit. Once they leave the plane you still have a risk of someone on the ramp. Be aware of what is going on around you. . . that's what I get out of this sad story.

  4. I know the pilot, and I know the the injured individual that was injured. This was 100% an ACCIDENT. The pilot said their goodbyes, the individual returned to their vehicle and the pilot was preparing to depart. The Individual was not a passenger, rather a visitor to visit a family member at the airport. The two said their goodbyes, the pilot was preparing to leave and going through his final checklist to take off. The individual injured realized they forgot to give the pilot something delivered to the pilot, and said person ran to bring the mail. Said person misjudged the prop, as they could see the pilot and it was dark and turned too early - injuring the left arm. Said person is FINE after reconstructive surgery, and the family is GRATEFUL that this was not worse as it very easily could have been. ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, don’t be so quick to judge.