Friday, July 09, 2021

Cessna 180, N3224D: Incident occurred July 08, 2021 and Accident occurred July 19, 2018

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana

July 08, 2021:  Aircraft on takeoff, pilot's seat unlocked and slid back causing the pilot to lose sight and veered off runway into the grass where the left wing touched the ground at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN),  Belgrade, Gallatin County, Montana

Date: 08-JUL-21
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N3224D
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 180
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

July 19, 2018

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bozeman, MT
Accident Number: GAA18CA437
Date & Time: 07/19/2018, 1115 MDT
Registration: N3224D
Aircraft: Cessna 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, after a wheel landing, the tail wheel touched down on the ground and started a "violent shaking." He pushed forward on the control yoke to raise the tail, increase throttle and subsequently let the tail touched down on the runway again. The tailwheel continued to shake, and the airplane began to veer left but the pilot corrected with opposite rudder. Shortly after the airplane regained runway heading, the airplane veered right, exited the runway to the right and ground looped.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot added that, during landing, the wind was from 010º at 4 knots. The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about the 15 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 160° at 4 knots. The airplane landed on runway 03.

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 during landing.


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 Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 81, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/01/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N3224D
Model/Series: 180 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32022
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: 
Engine Model/Series: Unknown
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBZN, 4427 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1656 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 325°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 60°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bozeman, MT (BZN)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:VFR 
Destination: Bozeman, MT (BZN)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time:  MDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4473 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 03
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2650 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.777222, -111.150278 (est)


  1. Seat unlatching on roll instead of during climb was a better outcome.

    Pilot was lucky. Maybe give the seat a good wiggle and install a rail stop before flying again.

  2. Unfortunate as the seat lock is a known issue and a simple fix is out there: