Friday, December 24, 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)


  1. Carb Ice strikes again? Temp/DP perfect for icing.

  2. Suspect that too... if the carb heat wasn't on the engine just would quit or be a poor performer on the takeoff. And the taxiing back wouldn't show it. This is why it is important to always do a runup when carb ice is suspected after landing and the carb heat was skipped.
    Which shoulda not have happened if the mantra would have been "Checklist, checklist, checklist"

  3. 2x adults in a cessna 150, with flaps extended and temp 24C... add in a shirt field technique, and possibly an early rotation, could easily just be a poorly climbing C150. Really need to keep these aircraft in ground effect until sufficient airspeed is attained, otherwise the high AOA just kills climb performance. 24C seems very high for can icing on takeoff, but I don't disagree with a can hear check after a long taxi a a safety measure.

    1. check a Carb Ice probability chart; textbook conditions; land, backtrack, all with minimum power during roll-out/taxi prior to departure. I have a Carb Ice detector installed in my Yankee and I am amazed at when the red light comes on. Best money I ever spent! Merry Christmas!


  4. ..ur intermitten checklist use of carb heat barely enriches the mixture, not enough to cause harm. Icing can occur at any temperature, as long the relative humidity is high enough.
    In conclusion, carb heat especially in the pattern builds muscle memory.