Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CHI01LA069

Culver, IN, USA

Aircraft #1


Cessna 172L


The airplane impacted a snow bank located at the approach end of the runway during a short field landing at the Fleet Field Airport, Culver, Indiana. The three certified flight instructors (CFIs) aboard the airplane were employed as CFIs at the accident airport. The right seat pilot was flying a stabilized approach when the left seat pilot, acting as pilot-in-command, took over the controls in an attempt to avoid the snow bank by executing a go-around. At the application of engine power, the airplane impacted the snow bank and left main landing gear separated from the airframe and impacted the horizontal stabilizer.

Factual Information

On January 21, 2001, at 1555 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172L, N4378Q, piloted by a certified flight instructor, was substantially damaged during a short field landing on runway 34 (2,400 feet by 65 feet, asphalt) at the Fleet Field Airport, Culver, Indiana. The airplane impacted a snow bank along the final approach path to the runway. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. All three certified flight instructors aboard reported no injuries. The flight departed from the Fulton County Airport, Rochester, Indiana, at time unknown. The pilot reported, "We were performing a short field landing into a short field (Fleet Field). We had a stabilized approach to the field at 60 mph. We cleared the obstructions at the edge of the runway (trees), and then proceeded to landing. Upon reaching the runway threshold we noticed that the snow had been piled up at the end of the runway. We realized that we were not going to clear the snow pile and proceeded to execute a go-around. By the time the power was added we hit the snow. The left main landing gear came off upon impact. It then struck the horizontal stabilizer. I managed to keep the plane on the two remaining gear until the wings would no longer support lift. The plane then veered off the left side of the runway and came to rest in a snow bank... ." During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he has made 1000's of landings at the Fleet Field Airport where he and the two other certified flight instructors work as flight instructors. He stated that they were practicing short field landings with the pilot in the right seat at the controls. The left seat pilot took over the controls.

Probable Cause and Findings

the proper glide path not attained by both pilots during a short field landing. The snow bank was a contributing factor.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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