NTSB Identification: ERA12FA319
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 05, 2012 in Honesdale, PA
Aircraft: CESSNA 177B, registration: N34539
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 5, 2012, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N34539, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a climbout from an aborted landing at Cherry Ridge Airport (N30), Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated at Sullivan County International Airport (MSV), Monticello, New York. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
Several witnesses stated that the airplane completed three traffic pattern approaches to the 2,986-foot-long, 50-foot-wide runway 18. Two of the witnesses, a student pilot and a flight instructor, had just finished traffic pattern work to runway 36, and all of the witnesses who observed the windsock about the time of the accident stated that it indicated winds from the north or northwest. The flight instructor estimated wind velocity to be about 10 knots, and another witness stated that the wind sock was mostly "straight out."
The witnesses also noted that the airplane completed the first two traffic pattern approaches to low approaches that resulted in go-arounds. During the second go-around, the flight instructor saw that when the airplane was about 200 feet above the runway, it was climbing at an "unusually high" angle of attack.
The flight instructor further stated that as the airplane approached the runway a third time, it appeared to be "unusually fast." It commenced a landing flare past the runway identification numbers, and "floated a long way" until it "forcefully" touched down nose-wheel-first, then porpoised several times. Just past the windsock, engine power was applied, and the airplane's nose pitched up in excess of 20 degrees. The airplane then stalled at what another witness estimated to be 200 to 300 feet above the runway, and began a spin to the left, completing about 180 degrees of rotation before impacting the ground.
The wreckage was located about 200 feet to the left of runway 18, abeam the runway 36 identification markings, in the vicinity of 41 degrees 30.8 minutes north latitude, 075 degrees, 15.0 minutes west longitude.
An examination of the accident site revealed ground scars that matched left wing and engine positions, and indicated an airplane heading at initial impact of about 020 degrees magnetic. The nose of the airplane subsequently came to rest displaced about 10 feet further to the right of the initial impact point, heading about 360 degrees magnetic.
All flight control surfaces were found at the accident scene, and control continuity to those control surfaces was confirmed from the cockpit. The outboard 7 feet of the left wing were separated from the rest of the wing, and the outboard 4 feet of each wing were crushed aft, with increasingly greater crush toward the wingtips. Looking aft from in front of the airplane, the tail section was bent slightly to the right.
Both propeller blades exhibited S-bending, chordwise scratching, and blade tip curling; all of which typically indicate the presence of engine power at the time of impact.
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