Saturday, July 16, 2022

Hard Landing: Cessna 182R Skylane, N9388X; accident occurred April 15, 2022 at Moton Field Municipal Airport (06A), Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama

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; Alabama and NW Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tuskegee, Alabama 
Accident Number: ERA22LA197
Date and Time: April 15, 2022, 14:30 UTC
Registration: N9388X
Aircraft: Cessna 182R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that while landing and during the landing flare, a gust of wind caused the airplane to drift off centerline and the nose to rise. The airplane ballooned, then subsequently bounced hard before ballooning a second time. The nose dropped sharply, and the pilot was unable to control the airplane before it struck the runway hard on the nose landing gear, causing the landing gear to collapse and fold back, which resulted in substantial damage to the engine compartment, firewall and underside of the airframe. The pilot stated that there were no pre accident mechanical failures or malfunctions 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 inadequate compensation for the gusty crosswind wind conditions which resulted in a hard landing and subsequent nose gear collapse.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues Gusts - Response/compensation
Environmental issues Crosswind - Response/compensation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact
Landing-flare/touchdown Hard landing (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 38, 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 2 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 1, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 11, 2022
Flight Time: 68.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 7 hours (Total, this make and model), 68.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7.3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N9388X
Model/Series: 182R 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1985 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 18268509
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 9, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 31.4 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4667.8 Hrs
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-470-U36B
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 230 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: AUO,776 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 09:56 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 53°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 13 knots / 20 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 100° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.21 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Alabaster, AL (EET)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Tuskegee, AL 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 13:50 UTC
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Moton Field Municipal Airport 06A
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 264 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 13/31
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5005 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

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: 32.460472,-85.680028


  1. As a newly minted pilot with just over 100 hrs. total time, I just got checked out in a C-182. It took 20 hours of dual, including the high performance enforcement, before I could get insurance to fly on my own.

    I noticed this pilot has 68 hours total, with 7 hours in the C-182, and 1.8 hours in last 30 days. In addition, the weather for the airport was very not favorable that day.

    My question is, with a CAP plane, can you just hop in and go, or do you need to be checked out my CAP instructor? If so, then it seems like this pilot was way ahead of me on his learning curve. I can see where a new pilot could get in over his head without more oversight. It just seems logical to have the pilot get more dual experience before allowing them to take off with the gusty conditions. Even though I now have insurance, I remain very cautious and do not fly when the conditions are less than favorable.

    The FAA safety inspectors analysis does not appear to address the pilots lack of experience. I would think that the lack of experience contributed to the accident.

    1. He would had to have what we call a Form 5 checkride in the 182 with a CAP Check Pilot. It is essentially a Flight Review plus the CAP rules and regulations and is required of every CAP pilot annually in the most complex airplane that he is applying to fly.

      It is expected that the pilot will perform to the standards of the FAA ACS for his or her highest certificate, in this case a Private Pilot, and busting the ACS standards requires that the Check Pilot fail the applicant. In order to earn a High Performance endorsement in a CAP aircraft he would have had to have had at least four hours and twenty five landings. It is possible that he came in with the HP endorsement in his logbook. As you know, this type of incident is pretty common with 182's in general due to them being somewhat nose heavy at low power settings. I learned quickly that it lands best with about 300 RPM's above idle to keep the nose up in the flare.

  2. I own a C-182R and don’t find it difficult to land when compared to other aircraft I have flown and owned. This incident was preventable. I actually feel sorry for this new pilot. Even though he passed his “Form 5 checkride”, he did not have adequate experience to operate the aircraft in those conditions. I would hope that
    CAP would figure out a system to let new pilots build meaningful experience instead of turning them loose solo with 68 hours total flight time. Glad pilot wasn’t injured.

  3. I’m with the above who commented that “as you know, this type of incident is pretty common with 182’s in general due to them being nose heavy at low power settings “. I say we should not be judgmental and give the CAP pilot credit for walking away no injuries. Airplanes are replaceable, especially the old aircraft CAP has to fly.

  4. My C-182 is a 1955. The CAPC-172 is a 1985 model. Not sure I would consider it an old aircraft when compared to most C-182’s being flown today. The subject aircraft is probably repairable based on its market value. CAP with sell it for salvage, As their budget allows them to acquire another replacement airplane. I would think they would want to get a brand new C-182 with the latest avionics suite. If this new pilot had a new C-182 with the superior avionics, I doubt this accident would have occurred .

  5. Yes, with a large annual budget of tax dollars, $100 mil. plus, they will probably replace the plane rather than repair. Does seem like these type of accidents in the C-182 are pretty common, especially with a low time pilot. However, there must be some accountability on behalf of the operator. Especially when it’s a public owned aircraft. Seems like business as usual for CAP, who, I thought, was to set an example for us private pilots to follow and look up to. After all, what good is provided by CAP in a search and rescue operation when the CAP pilots can’t land a C-182. These type of operations, often flying in rough terrain in less than perfect conditions requirIng skill and caution.

  6. I saw where someone suggested CAP get Garmin's system that lands the plane automatically. All the pilots has to do is make sure the seatbelt is tight and relax. Since the C-182 used by CAP is causing these landing issues, having the system installed would eliminate these landing crashes. Much better than a parachute.