Sunday, February 14, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 172P Skyhawk, N291RP; accident occurred February 26, 2020 at Everglades Airpark (X01), Everglades City, Collier County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Miramar, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Everglades City, Florida
Accident Number: ERA20CA114
Date & Time: February 26, 2020, 13:55 Local
Registration: N291RP
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


According to the pilot, while on final approach to the runway and about 3 to 4 ft above ground level, the airplane encountered a "strong gust cross wind" from the right, which resulted in the left wing striking the runway and sustaining substantial damage. The pilot reduced engine power and landed the airplane without further incident. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain airplane control during the landing flare in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in the left wing striking the runway.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft (general) - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Other weather encounter
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Dragged wing/rotor/float/other

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private Age: 59,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 23, 2019
Flight Time: 7498 hours (Total, all aircraft), 256 hours (Total, this make and model), 143 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 55 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N291RP
Model/Series: 172 P 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1981 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17274327
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 28, 2019 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 11202.7 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-D2J
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 160 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MKY, 5 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 300°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 1400 ft AGL 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 8500 ft AGL 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 17 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 190° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.93 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Miami, FL (TMB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Everglades City, FL (X01)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 12:30 Local 
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Everglades Airpark X01
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 15
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2400 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 25.849166,-81.390556(est)

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