Monday, July 12, 2021

Cessna 150F, N8172S: Accident occurred July 10, 2021 near Carl Folsom Airport (14J), Elba, Coffee County, Alabama

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; Atlanta, Georgia

Location: Elba, Alabama
Accident Number: ERA21LA284
Date and Time: July 10, 2021, 20:10 Local 
Registration: N8172S
Aircraft: Cessna 150F
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On July 10, 2021, about 2010 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8172Swas substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Elba, Alabama. The flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the flight instructor, after conducting maneuvers for about 30 minutes, they returned to Carl Folsom Airport (14J) to conduct short field landings and takeoffs. After the first successful full stop landing, they taxied back and set up for a short field takeoff. Shortly after rotation and liftoff, the airspeed was not increasing as they flew in ground effect. The flight instructor asked why the student wasn’t climbing, and the student stated, “I don’t know, you have the controls.” The flight instructor took the controls and performed a shallow right climbing turn to avoid the trees at the end of the runway. Once she took the controls there was no time to perform any troubleshooting of the engine because they were “barely” flying, and she needed to “just fly the airplane.” The engine was operating but not achieving sufficient power to maintain level flight. They were flying over the treetops as the airspeed continued to decrease and the airplane started to descend; she pushed the nose over to avoid a stall and attempted a forced landing into the trees.

The airplane impacted the heavily wooded terrain. Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane came to rest in a nose down attitude and was tilted to the right. Both wings were bent aft, and the airframe sustained substantial damage. The left fuel tank was breached, and the right tank remained intact and contained fuel. The airplane wreckage was located about 1,000 ft west southwest from the departure end of the runway.

The wreckage was retained by the NTSB for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N8172S
Model/Series: 150F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: SXS,400 ft msl
Observation Time: 19:58 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 23.9°C /22.2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 9 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Elba, AL
Destination: Elba, AL

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 31.410042,-86.090336 (est)

Elba Fire Department

Saturday evening, July 10, 2021, at approximately 8:15 pm Elba Fire Department was dispatched to the area of the Carl Folsom Airport in Elba in reference to a small plane that had crashed with two pilots on board. Truck 2, Engine 3, Truck 6, and ATV 1 all responded. Within a couple minutes firefighters in the area were on scene POV and command was established. After obtaining more information from the caller (the instructor pilot), Elba PD advised that the aircraft was in a heavily wooded area a certain direction off of the airport. Fire and Elba PD units on scene started working to determine the location of the aircraft and occupants through information relayed by the caller and witness statements. Dale County Air 1 was enroute as they had been notified by the 911 caller.

Fire Command made contact with Flatiron (Fort Rucker’s medevac helicopter) and requested they respond as well as New Brockton Volunteer Fire Department for manpower in preparation that the rescue/recovery operations had to all be performed on foot. The 911 caller was able to send their current location to our 911 dispatchers who relayed it to Fire Command. Elba Fire ATV 1 with a firefighter and a crew from Enterprise Rescue Inc. was deployed into the wooded area of the crash as Dale County Air 1 and Flatiron arrived overhead and began locating and circling the crash site. ATV 1 made contact with the patients. 

With the help of air units overhead directing them, they removed the patients from the crash site out to the airport to awaiting ambulances where they were determined to be relatively uninjured. Flatiron sat down on the runway and stood by in case either pilot needed air transport to a hospital for injuries before being released to return to service due to no injuries reported. Units started being released by Command as the incident scaled back. Fire units returned into the crash site to fully secure the aircraft and obtain information. The FAA and NTSB were contacted and the scene was turned over to their agencies. 

Local agencies that responded were Elba Fire, New Brockton Fire, Elba PD, Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, ALEA Troopers, Enterprise Rescue, Dale County Sheriff’s Office Air 1, Flatiron, Coffee County E911, and Coffee County EMA. 

Elba PD, Enterprise PD, Dale County SO, and Flatiron Base handled all communications for the incident and did so phenomenally! In particular, our two dispatchers at Elba PD last night fielded all of the calls, provided all information, contacted all additional resources, and relayed all information coming in, among other things. They did so without a single hiccup and did a fantastic job. 
The event last night was a perfect example of teamwork and coordination. Multiple agencies from multiple areas responded without hesitation which made for a successful outcome. 

Truly a great job to everyone involved and thank you for your help!

Elba Fire Department


  1. The possible, seldom possible, usually impossible, turn. The laws of physics don't apply to me, I'm an instructor.

  2. very recent transfer.
    Date: 28-Jun-2021 Owner: REYNOLDS DAVID HAYS JEFFERY Location: ARITON AL Status Assigned
    Certificate Issue Date 2021-06-26
    Airworthiness Date 1965-08-10
    Last Action Date 2021-06-26

  3. 2 adults, Cessna 150, short runway, possibly flaps on takeoff?