Saturday, July 16, 2022

Collision with Object (non-CFIT): Cessna 177RG Cardinal RG, N123LS; accident occurred April 02, 2022 at Davis Airport (W50), Laytonsville, Montgomery County, Maryland

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; Baltimore, Maryland

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Gaithersburg, Maryland 
Accident Number: ERA22LA176
Date and Time: April 2, 2022, 16:15 Local
Registration: N123LS
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted
Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported he was on final approach for a short field landing when the airplane developed an unexpected sink rate from which he did not have time to recover. The airplane subsequently struck a fence bordering the runway and impacted the ground, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe. A witness located on the approach end of the runway reported that the airplane appeared to be low and at an abnormally slow airspeed, and immediately before impact with the fence, the airplane pitched up rapidly. The pilot stated that he got behind the airplane on approach and there were no 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 adequate airspeed while maneuvering on final approach which resulted in a high sink rate and subsequent collision with a fence. 


Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Personnel issues Attention - Pilot
Environmental issues Fence/fence post - Contributed to outcome
Aircraft Airspeed - Not attained/maintained
Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Landing area undershoot
Approach-VFR pattern final Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 74,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations 
Last FAA Medical Exam: November 2, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 16, 2021
Flight Time: (Estimated) 1410 hours (Total, all aircraft), 40 hours (Total, this make and model), 1300 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N123LS
Model/Series: 177RG 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 177RG0334
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 5 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2831 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 200 Horsepower
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: GAI,539 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 190°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gaithersburg, MD 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Gaithersburg, MD
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Davis Airport W50 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 609 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08/26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2000 ft / 50 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor 
Latitude, Longitude: 39.243544,-77.149874 (est)

1 comment:

  1. I was criticized on a rental check-out flight for approaching too high (too steeply) and departing too low (too shallowly) on a touch-and-go. With 3,000 hours (mostly in single-engine Cessnas), this hasn't happened to me (yet) nor have I experienced a departure stall.