NTSB Identification: CHI04CA164.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, June 20, 2004 in Mt. Vernon, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 401, registration: N3234Q
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane sustained substantially damaged during a hard landing. The left main landing gear subsequently collapsed and the airplane departed the left side of the runway, contacting two runway lights in the process. A witness reported that the accident aircraft turned a "close-in" left base at a "high power setting." He recalled thinking that the pilot was going to execute a "low level, high speed pass." The aircraft did not appear to him to be in a normal landing descent profile. According to this witness, the aircraft crossed the runway threshold approximately 35 feet above ground level (agl) and the power was reduced to idle. The aircraft leveled about 30 feet agl and subsequently settled to 5-10 feet agl. As it approached the intersecting runway, the aircraft "dropped" and landed on all three landing gear. He noted that a "large cloud" of smoke rose from all three wheels. After a ground roll of about 100 feet, the aircraft slowly began to settle onto its left wing and he could hear the propeller begin to hit the ground. Weather conditions recorded by the MVN Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) at 1755 were clear skies and winds from 020 degrees at 5 knots. At 1855, the AWOS recorded clear skies and calm winds. According to the accident report filed by the pilot, his most recent flight review was completed in July 1986. His most recent medical certificate was issued on May 11, 1999. The pilot did not include a narrative in his accident report.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of the landing flare. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to execute a stabilized approach for landing. An additional factor was the presence of the runway lights.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun2004 | Index of months