Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 172R Skyhawk, N430EP; accident occurred June 13, 2021 at Groton - New London Airport (KGON), Connecticut

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; Windsor Locks

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket

Sunshine Holding LLC

Arrow Aviation LLLC

Location: Groton, Connecticut
Accident Number: ERA21LA249
Date and Time: June 13, 2021, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N430EP
Aircraft: Cessna 172R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The student pilot reported that he was flying a visual approach at the conclusion of a solo cross-country flight. Following a reportedly normal approach and landing, when the nose landing gear contacted the runway, the airplane began to veer to the left and “tilted somewhat.” The airplane then quickly veered further left and departed the runway surface. The airplane collided with a runway distance sign and came to a stop in the grass.

According to an inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane’s horizontal stabilizer and elevator were substantially damaged. He performed an examination of the flight controls, wheels, and wheel brakes; no evidence of a preexisting mechanical malfunction or failure was found. There was a tire skid mark on the runway, leading from the runway centerline to the wreckage.

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 directional control of the airplane during landing, resulting in a runway excursion and collision with an airport sign.

Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Collision during takeoff/land

Student pilot Information

Certificate: Student 
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 11, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 101 hours (Total, all aircraft), 101 hours (Total, this make and model), 8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N430EP
Model/Series: 172R 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1998 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17280648
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: June 8, 2021 100 hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 12 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4759 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: GON, 10 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 236°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 9500 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Windham, CT (IJD) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Groton, CT
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 16:38 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 9 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05/23
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.33295,-72.03935 (est)

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