Friday, December 31, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 170B, N2218B; accident occurred June 11, 2021 at Frank Wiley Field Airport (KMLS), Miles City, Custer County, Montana

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; Helena, Montana 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Miles City, Montana
Accident Number: WPR21LA226
Date and Time: June 11, 2021, 17:00 Local 
Registration: N2218B
Aircraft: Cessna 170B 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, during takeoff from a field, the airplane veered to the left. While attempting to correct with right rudder control and brake application, the left main landing gear went into a rut and the airplane subsequently ground looped. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, right horizontal, and right elevator. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 maintain directional control during takeoff which resulted in a ground loop and collision with terrain.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Rough terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Takeoff Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 37, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: January 2, 2018
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 26, 2020
Flight Time: 342 hours (Total, all aircraft), 241 hours (Total, this make and model), 55 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N2218B
Model/Series: 170B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1954 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 26438
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: August 21, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7022 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 180
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: KMLS, 2634 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 23 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 17:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 271°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 200 ft AGL
Visibility:  6 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 12 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 280° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.95 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / -2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - None - Haze
Departure Point: Miles City, MT
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Laurel, MT 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 46.41905,-105.32086 (est)