Saturday, July 24, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 140, N3697V; accident occurred June 05, 2021 at Chandler Field Airport (KAXN), Alexandria, Minnesota

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; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Alexandria, Minnesota
Accident Number: CEN21LA255
Date & Time: June 5, 2021, 13:46 Local 
Registration: N3697V
Aircraft: Cessna 140
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that while landing from his sixth Experimental Aircraft Association Young Eagles flight for the day, the airplane encountered a downdraft and variable wind conditions causing it to bounce several times. The pilot attempted to maintain control, but the airplane veered to the left off the runway and impacted the terrain in a nose low attitude. The airplane subsequently nosed over and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. The pilot reported that prior to this flight, hazardous weather was in the area; however, the weather appeared to not be a factor in the area, and he thought he could complete the flight.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot did not maintain aircraft and directional control during the landing in variable wind conditions resulting in abnormal contact with the terrain.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Variable wind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Hard landing
Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: December 24, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: January 4, 2021
Flight Time: 659 hours (Total, all aircraft), 308 hours (Total, this make and model), 618 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N3697V
Model/Series: 140 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1948
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 14973
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 16, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 30 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3991 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: O-200A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 100 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 13:10 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 17 knots / 35 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point: 32.2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Thunderstorm - Rain
Departure Point: Alexandria, MN 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Alexandria, MN
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1425 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 13/31
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5099 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 45.865829,-95.394694(est)

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