Thursday, November 25, 2021

Collision During Landing: Cessna 172N Skyhawk, N4977G; accident occurred September 19, 2021 at Nevada County Airport (KGOO), Grass Valley, California

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; Sacramento, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Grass Valley, California
Accident Number: WPR21LA348
Date and Time: September 19, 2021, 15:30 Local
Registration: N4977G
Aircraft: Cessna 172N 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, he departed normally to fly the airport traffic pattern. After he turned to the base leg of the traffic pattern, he observed a low voltage indication on the annunciator panel and was unable to announce his base turn on the radio. The pilot then turned to the final approach leg of the traffic pattern without making the announcement on the radio and added three notches of flaps. He experienced “windshear” near the runway threshold and the airplane briefly ascended. The pilot attempted to regain his glide path by extending full flaps and the airplane floated down the runway. At the time he was concerned about climbing out, so he elected to continue the landing instead of performing a go-around. After the airplane eventually touched down on the runway, the pilot applied full braking, but the airplane skidded off the runway edge into a ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing.

According to the pilot, he misjudged the landing distance and landed long to salvage the landing instead of attempting a go-around. He further remarked that the electrical issue affected his radio and prevented him from announcing his base and final turns in the airport traffic pattern, which may have influenced his decision to land promptly. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to attain a proper touchdown point on the runway while landing in gusting wind conditions, which resulted in a runway overrun. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to an electrical issue. 


Personnel issues Decision making/judgment - Pilot
Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft (general) - Malfunction
Personnel issues Motivation/respond to pressure - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Electrical system malf/failure
Landing Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 75, 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: October 6, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: January 7, 2021
Flight Time: 293 hours (Total, all aircraft), 243 hours (Total, this make and model), 47.31 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 0.4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N4977G
Model/Series: 172N 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 17273524
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 17, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3491 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-320-H2BD
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 160
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: KGOO,3153 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 261°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 0 knots / 11 knots 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 0° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Grass Valley, CA 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Grass Valley, CA 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3157 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 07/25 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4657 ft / 75 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic pattern

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: 39.224056,-121.00255 (est)

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