Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Loss of Control in Flight: Cessna 120, N76646; accident occurred January 03, 2022 at Cable Airport (KCCB), Upland, San Bernardino County, 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; Riverside, California

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

NextGen Flight Academy Inc


Location: Upland, California 
Accident Number: WPR22LA072
Date and Time: January 3, 2022, 12:05 Local
Registration: N76646
Aircraft: Cessna 120
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis

The pilot of the tail wheeled-equipped airplane reported that, he was on an approach to land at an uncontrolled airport behind two helicopters. An airport surveillance video showed the accident airplane flying over the runway about 20 seconds after a helicopter was in a slow hover taxi adjacent to the runway. The pilot reported that he saw the helicopter and decided to land long to maintain separation. He added that while on short final, he saw a helicopter “cross” the runway, so he increased engine power to full and attempted a go-around. About one-third of the way down the length of the runway, the airplane encountered the helicopter’s downwash, and the airplane entered an uncommanded steep right bank. The pilot applied opposite aileron, but he was not able to maintain control of the airplane. Subsequently, the airplane impacted right of the runway and sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

According to Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular No. 90-23G, Aircraft Wake Turbulence, “pilots should avoid taxiing or flying within a distance of three rotor diameters of a helicopter hovering or in a slow hover taxi, as the downwash can contain high wind speeds.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s loss of airplane control during a go-around as it encountered wake turbulence from a slow hover taxiing helicopter.

Findings

Aircraft (general) - Attain/maintain not possible
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Wake turbulence - Effect on equipment

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Loss of control in flight (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 24, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 30, 2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 4, 2021
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1107.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 18.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 1007.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 175.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 52.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N76646
Model/Series: 120 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 11086
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1450 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: 
Engine Model/Series: C85
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 85 Horsepower
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCCB,1439 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:35 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 307°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type
Forecast/Actual:
None / None
Wind Direction: 210° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / -10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Riverside, CA (KRAL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Upland, CA 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 11:34 Local 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: CABLE CCB 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1443 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 24 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
3863 ft / 75 ft VFR 
Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.111611,-117.68738


Location: Upland, California
Accident Number: WPR22LA072
Date and Time: January 3, 2022, 12:05 Local
Registration: N76646
Aircraft: Cessna 120
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N76646
Model/Series: 120 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: 
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCCB, 1439 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C /-10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:
Destination:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 34.111611,-117.68738 

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