Friday, January 01, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 185D, N1557F; accident occurred January 17, 2020 at Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, Montgomery County, Maryland

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Laytonsville, MD 
Accident Number: ERA20CA091
Date & Time: 01/17/2020, 1705 EST
Registration: N1557F
Aircraft: Cessna 185
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


After two uneventful circuits in the traffic pattern, the pilot aligned the airplane to the runway for another a touch-and-go landing. As he applied engine power, he used the right rudder to center the airplane on the runway. About 50 ft into the takeoff roll, the airplane veered left. The pilot applied right brake and right rudder to correct; however, the airplane became "momentarily airborne." He reduced the engine power, and as the airplane settled back onto the runway, it veered right. The pilot attempted to stop the airplane by applying the brakes; however, it continued off the right side of the runway and traveled through mud, and subsequently, the left main landing gear collapsed. The left wing, left elevator, and left horizontal stabilizer sustained substantial damage. An examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest on the left side of the fuselage. The tailwheel attachment tube was separated from the empennage, but the tailwheel control cables remained attached.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the tailwheel attachment tube during the takeoff roll, which resulted in a loss of directional control, a runway excursion, and the left main landing gear collapsing.


Aircraft Nose/tail landing gear - Failure
Aircraft Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Part(s) separation from AC
Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Takeoff Attempted remediation/recovery
Takeoff Runway excursion
Takeoff Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): 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: 10/01/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/04/2019
Flight Time: 1800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 900 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1557F
Model/Series: 185 D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1965
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 185-0928
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/19/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3197 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 14 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3697.3 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-470 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 265 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GAI, 539 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1656 EST
Direction from Accident Site: 190°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.69 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Laytonsville, MD (W50)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Laytonsville, MD (W50)
Type of Clearance: Special VFR
Departure Time: 1705 EST
Type of Airspace: Class B

Airport Information

Airport: Davis (W50)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 609 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2000 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.243333, -77.150000 (est)

1 comment:

  1. I once found a Scott 3200 in one of my farm fields. Never figured out whose it was. My friend has been flying with it for years. Glad this pilot found his. They’re getting expensive.