Saturday, November 27, 2021

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N55245; accident occurred August 19, 2021 at New Braunfels Regional Airport (KBAZ), Guadalupe County, Texas

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; San Antonio, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Accident Number: CEN21LA397
Date and Time: August 19, 2021, 08:05 Local
Registration: N55245
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot approached the airport to land with the wind generally aligned with the runway. The pilot reported that while on short final, he received a traffic alert from an on-board system alerting him to traffic on a short final. He continued the approach perceiving that performing a go-around would result in a potential mid-air collision. As he flared the airplane the wind quickly shifted to a direct crosswind which resulted in the right main landing gear touching down earlier than expected. The pilot applied a slight increase in power to prevent the nose landing gear from impacting the runway. The wind then reportedly shifted to a direct tailwind and the pilot lost control of the airplane. The nosewheel contacted the runway hard at which time the pilot performed a go-around. He landed the airplane without further incident. An examination of the airplane found substantial damage to the firewall and lower fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operations.

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 control of the airplane during landing.


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Other weather encounter
Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control in flight (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 18, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: UNK 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 141.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 42.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 72.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 21.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.7 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N55245
Model/Series: 172S 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2014 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S11373
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 2, 2021 100 hour 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 822.1 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 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: KBAZ,645 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 20:51 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 291°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 140° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.92 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: College Station, TX (CLL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: New Braunfels, TX 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 658 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5364 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.7075,-98.041532

1 comment:

  1. I have found if you maintain full positive control at all times you will not have a loss of control incident or accident. More instructors should teach this