NTSB Identification: CHI01LA054.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 27, 2000 in Sturtevant, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 152, registration: N757DX
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane nosed over during a precautionary landing to a snow covered field. The student-pilot said that the flight had begun as a dual instructional flight and then a solo flight. The pilot said that the weather during the dual instructional flight was overcast with light snow. The pilot said that, during the solo flight, the snowfall was getting heavier and that he decided to return to the airport. He said, "Before I made the initial turn to base I noticed my airspeed was only 50 KIAS. This was after I put carb heat on, throttle back to 1500 RPM, nose up to 60 KIAS and flaps to 10 [degrees]. Concerned that my airspeed was not high enough to make the left hand turn, I decided to make a right hand turn to circle around again and increase my airspeed. I kept trying to increase the airspeed with no success, by lowering the nose. I ended up by I-94 and Hwy 11. On my route there I tried radioing the airport but could not hear the instructor. Once I could he said to land at [an airport], which I didn't know where it was. All this time the airspeed kept dropping and I was concerned about a stall. The airspeed became so low (30-35 KIAS) I decided to land in a field.... I believe this was a hayfield and was snow covered [approximately] 10-14 inches. ... When the wheels touched ground it went for a short distance and flipped over nose first." The pilot said that after the accident, his instructor came to the accident site and told him that the pitot tube was, "plugged up." The pilot said that two days after the accident his flight instructor asked him to complete his pre-solo written examination. The student-pilot provided a copy of the cover page for the written examination dated "1/2/01". A weather report for a reporting station located about 7 miles and 060 degrees from the accident site was reporting, at 0753; winds 290 degrees at 07 knots; visibility 4 statute miles; light snow; ceiling 2600 feet overcast; altimeter setting 30.28 inches of Mercury. A weather report for a reporting station located about 7 miles and 170 degrees from the accident site was reporting, at 0810; winds 310 degrees at 08 knots; visibility 2 statute miles; light snow; scattered clouds at 2200 feet; ceiling 2600 feet overcast; altimeter setting 30.27 inches of Mercury.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The unsuitable terrain for landing selected by the student pilot, the inadequate initial training by the flight instructor, and the flight instructor's decision to send the student pilot on a solo flight in known adverse weather conditions. Factors to the accident were the snow showers, the student pilot becoming lost, the student pilot not using the pitot heat, the snow covered terrain, the precautionary landing performed by the student pilot, and the student pilot's lack of experience.

Full narrative available

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