On March 4, 1996, at 1457 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172M, N61992, nosed over while stopped on a taxiway at Hanscom Field, Bedford, Massachusetts. The student pilot was not injured, and the airplane received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight, which had departed Portland, Maine at 1408, had been operating on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight plan under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The student pilot was completing a solo cross-country flight. The flight originated at Bedford, at 0950, and was destined for Lewiston, Maine; however, due to en route winds, he diverted to Portland. He then telephoned his flight instructor, and discussed the situation with him. His flight instructor verbally approved his return flight, after which the student pilot departed for Bedford. In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:
"...I landed very smoothly on runway 29...I throttle[d] up a bit to expedite exit. Right wing wanted to lift. I set ailerons to compensate. I exited at taxiway golf, crossed the threshold...A sudden sustained gust of wind came from my right rear. Stick was full forward and full left aileron. I was fully stopped. Right rear continued to lift and turned plane over....
In a telephone interview, the student pilot reported that the airplane was stopped, and pointed about 90 degrees to the runway (about 200 degrees), on taxiway GOLF, when the nose over occurred.
The control tower reported winds of 300 degrees, at 28 knots, about 30 seconds prior to the accident, and winds from 320 degrees, at 24 knots, about 30 seconds after the accident.
The student pilot's log book contained a cross-country endorsement with a wind limitation of 15 knots, which his flight instructor said applied to steady winds, and the student pilot reported he was unaware of.
No record of a briefing from either an FAA Flight Service Station or DUAT was found under the student pilot's or flight instructor's name, or the airplane registration number. The flight school had checked the weather at 0938 via DUAT on March 4, 1996, and posted it for their students. The data indicated that the winds at the planned destination of Lewiston were from 320 degrees, 16 knots, with gusts to 23 knots. The terminal forecasts for Boston, Portland, and Augusta, Maine, had forecasts for sustained winds and/or gusts in excess of 15 knots through 2100.
An AIRMET was in affect for turbulence; however, it was not printed on the DUAT weather briefing because the option for AIRMETS was not selected.
The student pilot had received a weather briefing prior to departure from Portland.