Friday, December 31, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Cessna 172M, N20406; accident occurred June 12, 2021 in Fields, Harney County, Oregon

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; Portland, Oregon

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:
Location: Fields, Oregon
Accident Number: WPR21LA230
Date and Time: June 12, 2021, 09:45 Local
Registration: N20406
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, he initiated a landing on a highway near a remote town for lunch. After touchdown, the airplane veered left, and the pilot applied full right rudder control input, but the airplane exited the roadway surface and impacted terrain. The airplane nosed over, and the right-wing lift strut and empennage sustained substantial damage. 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 maintain directional control during landing on a highway, which resulted in an impact with terrain and subsequent nose over.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Rough terrain - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Collision during takeoff/land

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 64, 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: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 24, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 9, 2021
Flight Time: (Estimated) 338.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 310.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 251.8 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10.6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N20406
Model/Series: 172 M
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility 
Serial Number: 17261265
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 23, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 42 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5856.2 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: 0-320-E2D
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KREO, 4050 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 41 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 08:52 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 61°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type
Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Burns, OR (KNBO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fields, OR 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 09:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

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: 42.264206,-118.67499 (est)

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