Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cessna 172M Skyhawk, N5185R: Accident occurred February 17, 2020 at Grays Creek Airport (2GC), Fayetteville, North Carolina

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; Greensboro, North Carolina

Location: Hope Mills, NC
Accident Number: ERA20LA105
Date & Time: 02/17/2020, 1350 EST
Registration: N5185R
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Injuries: 4 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On February 17, 2020, about 1350 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172M, N5185R, was substantially damaged during takeoff in Hope Mills, North Carolina. The commercial pilot and three passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to information provided by the operator, the purpose of the flight was to orient local youth with general aviation. The commercial pilot, who was also a flight instructor, was seated in the right cockpit seat. The passengers occupied the other three seats. During the takeoff, the passenger in the left seat reached for the control yoke and pulled back on the controls. The flight instructor called out for him to let go; however, the passenger did not relinquish the controls. The airplane pitched up to a near vertical position, stalled, then collided with terrain adjacent to the runway. Witnesses watching the takeoff reported that the engine continued to run normally during the accident sequence.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The fuselage and both wings were structurally damaged. The propeller separated from the engine. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5185R
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:No 
Operator: Cape Fear Aviation Maintenance Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KFAY, 186 ft msl
Observation Time: 1421 EST
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 90°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hope Mills, NC (2GC)
Destination: Hope Mills, NC (2GC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 Serious
Aircraft Fire:None 
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.893611, -78.843611 (est)


  1. "The students on the plane were taking part in the aviation career day as part of the Cumberland County Workforce Development program.

    The program was held at Cape Fear Aviation, 7154 Butler Nursery Road. An announcement of the program by Cumberland County said it was designed for students to learn about airplane mechanic and pilot careers.

    The NC Works Career Center sponsored the program, according to the county. Airline pilots and airplane mechanic jobs are expected to be in high demand in coming years, according to the county news release."

  2. CFI @ 19, Jake is now a "Cashier/Team Leader at Chick-fil-a Ramsey street • Private & Commercial Pilot • Instrument Certified • CFI & CFII • 1st Peter 3:15" per instagram.

  3. Whoever that spazz kid is who grabbed the controls without given permission (and at the worst possible time mind you during takeoff), he needs to be banned from flying in any GA aircraft ever again in his life. Did the little brat think he was playing Microsoft Flight Simulator or something? And the pilot is not without fault for not flying from the captain's seat - not that it would have made any difference with little spazz in either front seat. Here come more civil suits from the families costing us all in the GA community more money long term. This burns me up.

  4. Spazz. . . great word to describe the little runt that locked onto the controls.

  5. There is no law that dictates the captain to be in the left seat. On top, as a flight instructor he probably was more at home than the left one.