Saturday, May 08, 2021

Runway Excursion: Cessna T240 Corvalis, N25HE; accident occurred May 06, 2020 at Roger M. Dreyer Memorial Airport (T20), Gonzales, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Gonzales, TX
Accident Number:CEN20LA174 
Date & Time: 05/06/2020, 1650 CDT
Aircraft: CESSNA T240
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported landing about one-third of the way down the runway. He did not believe the airplane would be able to stop on the remaining runway and decided to execute a go-around. The pilot added full engine power and left the flaps at the takeoff position. He did not recall retracting the speedbrakes and noted the airplane seemed to get "no lift." The airplane subsequently departed the runway pavement, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing.

Postaccident examination revealed the cockpit speedbrake switch was in the UP position. The airframe manufacturer noted the speedbrakes were actuated by the instrument panel-mounted switch and will not retract automatically due to a go-around condition, by pressing the go-around button, or with throttle lever advancement. The pilot commented the go-around could have been initiated earlier; if so, he may have had more time to fully prepare for a go-around. It is likely that the pilot did not retract the speedbrakes during the delayed go-around attempt, which resulted in a reduction of lift and a subsequent runway excursion.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to retract the speedbrakes during a delayed go-around attempt, which resulted in a runway excursion.


Personnel issues Delayed action - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Personnel issues Forgotten action/omission - Pilot
Aircraft Climb capability - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information 

On May 6, 2020, about 1650 central daylight time, a Cessna T240 airplane, N25HE, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion after landing at the Roger M. Dreyer Memorial Airport (T20), Gonzales, Texas. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot entered the airport traffic pattern for runway 33 and set the wing flaps to the takeoff (12°) position. The airspeed on final approach was about 130 kts and he extended the speed brakes to reduce the speed. He did not use full landing flaps (40°) because he was concerned about the "strong wind gusts." The airplane touched down approximately one-third of the way down the runway at about 100 kts. The pilot stated he did not believe the airplane would be able to stop on the remaining runway and decided to execute a go-around. He added full engine power and left the flaps at the takeoff (12°) position. He did not recall retracting the speed brakes and noted the airplane seemed to get "no lift." The airplane subsequently departed the runway pavement and came to rest about 200 yards beyond the end of the runway in a field. The pilot commented the go-around could have been initiated earlier. He stated there were no mechanical failures or malfunctions before the accident.

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors conducted a postaccident examination of the airplane at the accident site. At the time of the examination, the cockpit speed brake switch was in the UP position. The speed brakes were in the down (retracted) position at that time consistent with the airplane electrical power being off. Recovery personnel confirmed damage to the right wing and engine mount.

The airplane flight manual (AFM) noted the speed brakes can be used for glide path control on final approach and airspeed reduction. Both the normal and short field landing checklists specified, "SPD BRK Switch – UP (as desired)" after touching down. The balked landing (go-around) checklist included retracing the speed brakes, "SPD BRK Switch – DN." The amplified landing procedures contained in the AFM did not include any additional guidance related to the use of the speed brakes.

According to the airframe manufacturer, the speed brakes are electrically actuated by the cockpit instrument panel mounted switch. They will not retract automatically due to a go-around condition, pressing the go-around button, or throttle lever advancement. The flight manual systems description stated there are three conditions that will automatically retract the speed brakes: if the circuit breaker is pulled, if they deploy asymmetrically, or due to a low voltage electrical condition.

History of Flight

Landing-aborted after touchdown Runway excursion (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Runway excursion 
Landing-aborted after touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 59, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; 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: 01/16/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/05/2019
Flight Time:  696 hours (Total, all aircraft), 130 hours (Total, this make and model), 544 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N25HE
Model/Series: T240
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: T24002027
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 26, 2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 81 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 590.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-550-C21B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 310 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: T20, 354 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1635 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 150°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: 
Wind Direction: 60°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.09 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Paragould, AR (PGR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Gonzales, TX (T20)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1345 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Roger M Dreyer Memorial (T20)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt 
Airport Elevation: 354 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3200 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.525000, -97.462222 (est)

1 comment:

  1. This runway is 3200'. Using the T240 AFM, the "short field" landing distance calculated would be about 1200', and 2600' clearing a 50' obstacle.(using the altitude and winds reported at the time) These numbers are calculated using full flaps and approach speed of about 75KIAS, and with a test pilot flying the approach. With a standard pilot, I'd add about 50% to those numbers. With T/O flaps and approach speeds WAY too high, this airplane would likely have used nearly all of that runway. The GA was just initiated too late. The airplane will climb with speed brakes deployed. They have very little effect at low speeds. I have over 3000 hrs in these aircraft and have trained dozens of pilots in them. One of the check out items I cover is a go around with speed brakes deployed, so the student will understand the difference in performance. Welcome to higher aircraft insurance rates once again.