NTSB Identification: NYC01LA025.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 19, 2000 in CAMP SPRINGS, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N950ME
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot of a Cessna 172 was en route between two airports, on a heading of about 300 degrees, when it crossed the final approach course to another airport, which handled large airplanes. A Boeing 757 was on final approach, on a heading of about 360 degrees to that airport. The pilots of both airplanes were in contact with approach control, and acknowledged visual contact with each other. The pilot of the Cessna also acknowledged a caution for wake turbulence. The Boeing was descending. The Cessna crossed the flight path of the Boeing about 30 seconds after the Boeing passed through, at the same altitude. The pilot of the Cessna reported he was thrown about the cockpit, as the airplane rolled left and then pitched nose down. The pilot of the Cessna recovered to normal flight and landed at his planned destination. Post flight examination of the Cessna revealed wrinkled skin on top of the right wing, and further examination revealed a cracked rear spar underneath. The Aeronautical Information Manual recommended, 'Pilots should fly at or above the preceding aircraft's flight path, altering course as necessary to avoid the area behind and below the generating aircraft.' Surface winds were from 300 degrees at 16 knots with gusts to 24 knots.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper in-flight decision to operate close behind a large airplane at the same altitude, which resulted in a wake turbulence encounter. Full narrative available
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