Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Cessna 140, N76075: Fatal accident occurred May 20, 2022 at Wayne Municipal Airport / Stan Morris Field (KLCG), Nebraska

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 traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

Location: Wayne, Nebraska
Accident Number: ERA22FA233
Date and Time: May 20, 2022, 18:42 Local 
Registration: N76075
Aircraft: Cessna 140
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Air race/show

On May 20, 2022, at 1842 central standard time, a Cessna 140 airplane, N76075, was destroyed when it impacted terrain near the Wayne Municipal Airport (LCG), Wayne, Nebraska. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to a representative with STOL Drag Events LLC., who was a participant organization in the 2022 Wayne County Mayday STOL Drag Races, the day before the accident the event began with short takeoff and landing drag racing (STOL Drag) training conducted on a course next to runway 5-23. The accident pilot had been signed off for competition at a prior STOL Drag event. On the day of the accident, additional STOL Drag training had been completed in the morning and qualifying STOL Drag races were planned for the afternoon. However, due to the northwest gusting winds, the qualifiers were postponed until the next day.

After the postponement decision was made, several of the competing pilots expressed a desire to perform traditional STOL (without any drag racing component) on the grass runway 31 given the favorable headwinds. A safety briefing was held with STOL Drag representatives, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, and pilots that planned to fly in the traditional STOL. A representative with STOL Drag informed the pilots that the flying was optional, and it was not a part of the formal competition. In order to limit pattern congestion, multiple groups of 5 airplanes were organized.

According to multiple witnesses and video/photographic evidence, the accident airplane was the last airplane within the group of 5 and two landings had been performed without incident. During the third approach with the accident airplane on final approach and following a Zenith STOL 701 also on final, the accident airplane descended and appeared to be lower than the airplane ahead. Subsequently, the pitch attitude increased, the airplane rolled to the right, and completed a 3/4 turn right spin and impacted terrain in a near vertical attitude, as shown in Figure 1 with the accident airplane circled in red.

The STOL Drag representative that coordinated the pattern operations over the radio reported that about 45 seconds prior to the accident, he stated over the radio to the accident pilot, “lower your nose you look slow.” About 15 seconds before the accident, he stated again to the accident pilot, “lower your nose.” There were no communications received from the accident pilot and none of the other pilots in the pattern were talking on the radio near the time of the accident.

The airplane came to rest about 1,600 ft from the runway 31 threshold and about 250 ft right of the extended centerline. The airplane’s primary surfaces remained intact, and the forward cowling and engine area was crushed aft into the cockpit. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to all flight control surfaces. Fuel remained in both wings, there was no evidence of fire, and the fuel selector was found selected to the right tank. The throttle lever was found extended about 1 ¾ of an inch and had fractured. The carburetor heat lever was found OFF. The flap handle and latch sustained impact damage and could not be correlated to a specific flap setting. 

The airspeed indicator needle was found indicating about 57MPH and a rub mark at this speed was observed on the face of the instrument. The left seat lap belt was found belted. Shoulder harnesses were not installed.

The engine displayed varying degrees of impact damage and the propeller remained attached to its hub. When the propeller was rotated by hand, crankshaft and camshaft continuity, and thumb compression was confirmed. Both magnetos produced spark when rotated by an electric drill. The carburetor was found with fuel remaining in its bowl, which tested negative for water when water finding paste was applied. The mixture was safety wired to the full rich position. The carburetor heat baffle was found closed/ OFF.

About the time of the accident at the airport, an hourly observation reported that wind was from 290° at 15 knots, gusting to 21 knots, which was consistent with video that showed tall flags positioned at the runway threshold. The video showed that the gusting wind varied from about 290° to a direction nearly aligned with runway 31.

At the time of the accident, an airport and runway 31 closure Notice to Air Mission was in effect. An FAA Certificate of Waiver had been issued to STOL Drag Events LLC. from May 19-22 to conduct “Competition STOL Drag (Straight Line Air Race, (Non-Closed Course) at Wayne Municipal Airport, Wayne, NE. All racing will be below 100' AGL, within the defined limits of the course adjacent to Runway 05/23.”

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information 

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N76075
Model/Series: 140 
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: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LCG,1424 ft msl 
Observation Time: 18:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 15 knots / 21 knots, 290°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.78 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Wayne, NE
Destination: Wayne, NE

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.235994,-96.977827

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Cover The Funeral Cost For Thomas Dafoe

My name is Jake Ferreira.  I am the son in law of a former farmer, mechanic, pilot, father and forever husband. Tom died tragically Ding what he loved at the May Day STOL Aviation Drag races while performing a stall spin. Tom leaves behind a family of 5 sons 1 Daughter and a wife of 24 years. To me he was not only an amazing provider for his kin but an intelligent soul of all matters, the ask him anything and he has an answer type hard headed sure but smart and he loved me and his family with all of his being.
To help Toms wife and family cover the Cost of the funeral all donations will go towards giving Thomas a proper send off.
To keep the grieving process going smoothly we hope to be able to cover the cost of the funeral before June 5.
Thomas’ wife Rebecca Will be the one in charge of the final expenses and will be the one receiving any donations provided.
Anything anyone can help with is greatly appreciated.

Thomas Briden Dafoe
6/19/1977 - 5/20/2022

Thomas Briden Dafoe, 44, of Arbuckle, California, lost his life in a tragic accident during the MayDay STOL at Wayne Municipal-Stan Morris Field in Wayne, Nebraska, on Friday, May 20, 2022.

Tom was born to Irene (Hutton) Dafoe on June 19, 1977, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Tom is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and their five children: Mikaela (Jake) Ferreira, Zechariah, Briden, Caleb, and William. Other survivors are his mother, Irene; sister, Jaime (Greg) Bazar; brother, Richard; sister-in-law, Becky Dafoe; son-in-law, Jake Ferreira; granddaughter, Vivian Ferreira; and many loving uncles, aunts, and cousins. Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents, William and Dorothy Hutton and Thomas and Joyce Dafoe.

Tom is remembered as a God-fearing man, loving husband, father of five children, and passionate aviator who exuberated great enthusiasm for the general aviation community. As a sales director for jetAVIVA and a previous employee of Cessna Aircraft for 21 years, Tom had a successful career in general aviation and left his mark on the industry. His loss is felt across the industry and the general aviation community.

Tom was an adventurer. Raised as a farm boy in North Dakota, he had a deep connection with the soil and loved making things grow. Working the fields in the Red River Valley, watching hawks soar, and Grumman AgCat at work piqued his interest in aviation.

Although his collegiate studies began with classical piano performance studies, he redirected to aviation midway through his sophomore year. After learning to fly and earning his Airframe & Powerplant certificates, he went to work for Cessna Aircraft Co. where he spent 21 years at their Citation Service Centers, ultimately as General Manager of the Sacramento facility. Tom was best known for connecting with his customers, listening to their needs, and always seeking solutions that were in his clients' best interests.

Tom's first professional foray into sales was representing the Cessna brand of Utility Turboprops for Textron Aviation in Western North America. It took only one flight in the Grand Caravan EX to fall head over heels for this rugged plane.

Farming almonds with his wife in northern California kept Tom grounded. But when there was free time to be found, you could find Tom floatplane and tailwheel flying.

The memorial service will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 7th, at The Father’s House (church), 4800 Horse Creek Drive, Vacaville, CA 95688.

A gathering will be held following the memorial at Swabbie's on The River; 5871 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95837.

In lieu of fresh flowers, you may donate a live rose plant to add to Tom’s rose gardens at Briden Wilson Farm
http://homegrownalmonds.com/donate) or to Mission Aviation Fellowship – designated in honor of Tom (https://give.maf.org/donate).

Aircraft crashed on landing during the MayDay STOL Drag aerial event under unknown circumstances. 

Date:  20-MAY-22
Time: 23:50:00Z
Regis#: N76075
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 140
Event Type:  ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Activity: AIR SHOW
Flight Phase:  LANDING (LDG)
Aircraft Missing: No


  1. AOPA witness reports est stall/spin from 400 feet.

  2. I don't know why this says "under unknown circumstances." There were hundreds of witnesses and at least one very clear video of the whole thing from normal flight all the way to the ground. Stall / spin on final approach.

    1. Witnesses and video saw "what" happened. Unknown circumstances is a an investigative lingo placeholder until all potential contributing factors are examined to get a fully filled out "why" answer by investigators.

      For example, the N704AK Glasair circumstances turned out very differently from what was expected to have been a pilot initiated turn back conjectured from initial observations.


  3. I'm sure we'll get an official report in about 3 years or so...

    1. STOL competitors don't have to wait for the report to understand the risk of participating. When winning is defined by taking your aircraft closer and closer to it's limits, what you get is a competition similar to seeing who can stand on the tracks in front of an oncoming train the longest before jumping clear.

  4. This is what happens when you use the rong plane for the job. It was an accident waiting to happen using a Cessna with a stock wing competing against aircraft with extended wings droop tips leading edge cuffs.. and other mods to make a stall spin near impossible, you have to really work hard to get a STOL aircraft to get i to a spin. The Cessna stock wing 140 should not have been in the same pattern as the STOL aircraft, the right plane for the right job is very safe and extrememly fun. Fly a STOL aircraft before you go calling it dangerous and bad for GA reputation.

    Proper training of slow flight and stall recovery could have saved this pilot. JFK Jr could have survived with the proper training and maintaining proficiency... thats what flying is all about.

  5. The 140 is a dog and the pilot is unqualified.

  6. Airport was closed outside of the limitations in the STOL Drag Events LLC waiver and they chose to proceed anyway. Appears that violated the NOTAM and the terms of the waiver. A STOL Drag representative was still directing the show?