Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Cessna 177B Cardinal, N24RG: Fatal accident occurred April 07, 2021 at Great Valley Airport (N56), Cattaraugus County, New York

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 Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Rochester, New York
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Location: Great Valley, NY
Accident Number: ERA21FA178
Date & Time: April 7, 2021, 14:08 Local
Registration: N24RG
Aircraft: Cessna 177B 
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 7, 2021, about 1408 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177B airplane, N24RG, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Great Valley, New York. The pilot was seriously injured, and the pilot-rated passenger was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot, who owned the airplane, held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. Earlier that day, the pilot and his passenger had flown from the Ledgedale Airport (7G0), Brockport, New York, to Great Valley Airport (N56), Great Valley, New York, and met with another pilot for lunch. After lunch, the other pilot departed runway 24 without incident. He stated that there may have been a slight tailwind on takeoff, but it was not strong enough to move the windsock. Another pilot based at the airport described the weather as “an absolute perfect day to fly.”

A witness was outside across the street from the runway and saw the first airplane depart. He then heard the accident airplane’s engine “rev” up and begin its takeoff roll. When the witness made eye contact with the airplane it was in a 90-degree bank. He told a co-worker that he was concerned about the airplane, so he got in his truck and drove to the airport. When he arrived, he saw that the airplane had crashed and was engulfed in flames.

Another witness, who lives adjacent to the runway, had a full view of the runway from her living room and saw the accident airplane taking off. She said the airplane bounced a couple times before it became airborne. The airplane climbed to about 20 ft above the ground when it made a hard left bank, and she could see the tops of both wings. The witness said the left wing impacted the ground and it “crumbled” and then the airplane “collapsed.” She said that she watches airplanes takeoff and land all the time, and by the time they come by her home, they typically are already airborne. She said that she did not see or hear anything unusual with the airplane or engine prior to the accident, except that it was “low” and “late” taking off. As the witness was on the phone with 911, she observed black smoke coming from the wreckage.

The airplane departed runway 24 (an approximate 3,800-foot-long by 90-foot-wide turf runway). Ground scars at the accident site and damage to the airplane were consistent with the airplane impacting terrain in a left-wing-low, nose-down flight attitude. The airplane came to rest about 2,250 ft down and about 50 ft left of the approach end of the runway. The left and right wings came to rest upright. The engine, fuselage, and tail were inverted. A postimpact fire consumed the fuselage, inboard left wing, left flap, and the outboard half of the left stabilator. The right wing also sustained fire damage.

All major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls to the cockpit area. The only break in the flight controls was observed to the right aileron control cable. The fractured ends of the cable were frayed, consistent with overload. Examination of the flap jackscrew revealed the flaps were fully retracted at the time of impact.

The fuel selector was not located in the wreckage, but continuity of the fuel system to the fire wall shut off valve and fuel strainer was established. The fuel strainer bowl was breached from impact and empty of fuel. The fuel strainer was absent of debris.

The engine remained attached to the airplane and the two-blade propeller remained attached to the engine. Both blades were curled/twisted and exhibited chordwise scoring. When the engine was rotated manually via the propeller, compression and valve train continuity was established on each cylinder.

The top and bottom spark plugs were removed and all, but the No. 2 and No. 4 top plugs appeared gray in color consistent with normal wear per the Champion Check-A-Plug chart. The No. 2 and No. 4 top plugs were oil soaked due to the position of the engine after impact.

The dual magneto was removed and when rotated, spark was observed at each ignition lead.

The carburetor remained attached to the engine, but the main inlet fuel line was broken due to impact. The carburetor was disassembled, and a small amount of yellowish colored fluid was observed in the bowl. Water finding paste confirmed the fluid was water. Based on the position of the engine and carburetor along with the impact broken inlet fuel fitting, water most likely entered the carburetor during postaccident fire suppression efforts.

The oil pan was intact, and the oil suction screen was absent of debris. The oil filter was removed, and the element was also absent of debris.

Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N24RG
Model/Series: 177B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
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: OLE,2135 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4100 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 360°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 5000 ft AGL 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Great Valley, NY 
Destination: Brockport, NY (7G0)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 42.205064,-78.647251 

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

William H. Mandelare
Albion, New York
May 20, 1940 - April 7, 2021

William H. Mandelare, age 80, died suddenly April 7, 2021 as a result of an aviation accident.

He was born May 20, 1940 in Holley to Dominic and Anna (Paduano) Mandelare and had lived in the WNY area most of his life. 

Bill was a US Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam War and retired from the Greece Central School District as an Industrial Arts Teacher.

He was a private pilot and flight instructor who held multiple flight ratings and was also a certified aircraft mechanic.

He was a former member of the Model A Restorers Club, CORSA and was an avid shooting enthusiast, having won several awards in shooting competitions. 

He was always polite, courteous, gentle and was a person with absolute perfect manners. Mr. Mandelare was predeceased by his parents and his brother, John.

He is survived by his son: Daniel Mandelare of Lockport, his former wife and mother of his son: Polly-Ann Mandelare-Lewis, two nieces: Diana Mandelare-Au, Patricia Mandelare, and 2 great nieces: Paige and Lyndsey.

A Celebration of Bill's life will be held at a later date. Private Entombment will be in St. Mary’s Mausoleum-Holley.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Genesee Country Museum, 1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, NY, 14511.


  1. No medical certificate in the last ten years for either pilot. Fly anyway. The rules don't apply to you. You're special. The rules are there for the rest of us to follow.

    1. database isn't always up to date, also the possibility of them flying on basic med exists??

    2. Original poster is incorrect on Mr. Groetsch.

      Pilot GROETSCH in the airmen registry with same name and address as the aircraft registration is within the 24 month Basicmed course date and 48 month Basicmed CMEC date reqirements:

      BasicMed Course Date: 7/6/2019 BasicMed CMEC Date: 6/5/2017

      It does seem odd that Mr. Mandelare was issued a renewal of his flight instructor certificate in January 2020. His last medical date was 2008, and no Basicmed. Although the instructor certificate is only valid with his pilot certificate, seems like a unrecognized hole in the issuance verification process.

    3. Sad that the news organization messed up reading the airmen registry lookup and said both pilots' medical status was 2008. They obviously did not look carefully at the Groetsch information.

      The story even goes on to talk about renewal requirements and that "A request for verification from the FAA was not immediately returned."

      The news story error harms pilot Groetsch's reputation in the community. They presumably did not intend to print misinformation, but they did. Would they correct their story if someone made them aware of the error?

      Last name: Groetsch
      First Name: Raymond E

  2. A Cardinal is a difficult airplane to fly? Any airplane CAN be difficult. Don't blame the airplane.

    1. I think the report said "tricky to fly" because it has a stabilator. Yeah, boy those planes with a stabilator are tricky to fly.

      It also says: "when landing, the plane as to be put in a nose-up position to adjust the pitch" Wth?

      Not much to go on.

    2. Pilot Groetsch has owned the Cardinal since 1997, per registration history. Had 24 years experience flying that plane.

  3. an attempted description from airman Lockner to cub reporter fails to describe a possible cause related to what appears to be the "Elevator Trim Tab."


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