NTSB Identification: LAX01LA150.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, April 19, 2001 in Torrance, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N97984
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.

During a touch-and-go landing, the aircraft veered off the runway, encountered soft terrain, and nosed over. No skid marks were found leading to the accident site. The tires were examined and no flat spots were observed. The airplane was uprighted and rolled to see if there was any resistance from the brakes. None was noted. The brakes were inspected and operated with no defects observed. The wind was calm at the time of the accident. The pilot received his private certificate on April 4, 2001, and had approximately 78 hours total time when the accident occurred. All of the pilot's primary flight training experience was accrued in the Katana DA-20 airplane. After obtaining his private pilot certificate, the pilot received 3.7 hours of flight instruction in the Cessna 172, and had logged an additional 2.4 hours of flight time prior to the accident. A flight instructor from the same flight school flew with the pilot in another Cessna 172 the day after the accident. He stated that the pilot had a tendency to land very flat, with no flare. The instructor was experienced in both the Katana DA-20 and the Cessna 172. He stated that the landing characteristics of the Katana require little or no flare by the pilot. In contrast, the Cessna 172 requires a considerable amount of flare to achieve a proper touchdown attitude. Since the pilot had received all of his primary training in a Katana, his tendency in any airplane would be to land it like a Katana. In the event of a nose first landing, the airplane will "wheel barrow" and can become nearly impossible to control. This landing condition can easily result in a rapid and uncontrollable change in direction on the runway.

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

The failure of the pilot-in-command to execute a proper landing flare, which resulted in an improper touchdown attitude and a subsequent loss of directional control. A factor in the accident was the difference between landing characteristics of the Katana and the Cessna 172, and the resulting habit interference for the pilot.

Full narrative available

Index for Apr2001 | Index of months