Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Cessna P172D Skyhawk, N8540X: Accident occurred May 22, 2022 near Prescott Regional Airport (KPRC), Yavapai County, Arizona

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; Scottsdale, Arizona

Location: Prescott, Arizona
Accident Number: WPR22LA186
Date and Time: May 22, 2022, 09:13 Local
Registration: N8540X
Aircraft: Cessna P172D 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On May 22, 2022, about 0913 mountain standard time, a Cessna P172D airplane, N8540X, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Prescott, Arizona. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff from Prescott Regional Airport, while climbing over the airport perimeter fence, the airplane’s engine lost power and suddenly stopped. He immediately cycled the magnetos, pushed the mixture to full rich, and pushed the nose down. Despite his efforts, the engine did not restart. Subsequently, the pilot initiated a forced landing in a field about 1 mile beyond the runway threshold. During the landing roll, the airplane impacted a tree stump, nosed over, and came to rest inverted.

The airplane was recovered to a secured facility for future examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N8540X
Model/Series: P172D 
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: KFLG,7018 ft msl 
Observation Time: 08:57 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C /2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Prescott, AZ 
Destination: Prescott, AZ

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: 35.140316,-111.66924 (est)

Aircraft departed, experienced engine issues and tried returning to the airport and failed. 

Date: 22-MAY-22
Time: 16:13:00Z
Regis#: N8540X
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: P172
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity:  PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91


  1. "This rare bird is one of the 65 P172D models built. 62 were built in the US, three more in France as FP172D. There are 32 left on the FAA register. For the 1963 model year the Model 175 was merged into the 172 line. So the P172D ("172 Powermatic" and deluxe "Skyhawk Powermatic") was basically a 175C, with the geared 175 hp GO-300 engine, constant-speed propeller and cowl flaps, combined with the 172D's new Omni-Vision rear window. The P172 was discontinued after the 1963 model year." @pilawt/pilotsofamerica

    1. "...combined with the 172D's new Omni-Vision rear window."

      You have to love the classic fancy selling words in 1950s and 1960s (even into the 1970s). "Omni-Vision rear window" LOL. In other words, a single window in the rear with no middle bar and now rear C pillar frame. As if the separate rear windows of the 172 impede the rear rudder view or something (it doesn't, you can still see your rudder flight control check from the cockpit just fine from a 2019 model 172S).

      Omni-Vision! That's right up there with "Hydro-glide" automobile transmissions and "Quadraphonic" home stereo systems.