On June 16, 1996, at 1502 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N6261D, collided with three parked aircraft after a hard landing at Catalina airport, Avalon, California. The aircraft sustained substantial damage; however, neither the private pilot nor his three passengers were injured. The aircraft was being operated as a personal flight by Pars Air when the accident occurred. The flight originated in Santa Ana, California, about 1430 on the day of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan had been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The airport manager reported that he first observed the aircraft in the traffic pattern on approach to runway 22. During the landing sequence the aircraft failed to flare and touched down on the nose wheel. The aircraft porpoised twice and on the second bounce, the pilot attempted to recover. The aircraft veered off the runway and stalled about 25 to 30 feet in the air, hit the ground, and subsequently struck three other parked aircraft.
The pilot reported that he was making a normal approach with 40 degrees of flaps. On touchdown he bounced once and then bounced a second time, when the aircraft struck a hole in the runway. The nosewheel began to shake severely and he applied back pressure on the control wheel but thought at this time he was nearing the end of the runway. He intentionally turned left to avoid running off what he thought was the departure end.
A second witness, who was a coworker of the airport manager, reported that he heard the engine accelerate during the accident sequence. He also stated that, although there was some spalling of the runway surface, there were no holes in the runway at the time of the accident.
According to the NOAA Airport/Facility Directory, pilots cannot see aircraft on opposite ends of the runway due to the runway gradient.
The other aircraft involved were identified as: a Beech G18S, N9375Y; a Grumman AA-5, N5439L; and another Cessna 172N, N6441D.
A postaccident inspection of the aircraft revealed that the flaps were still extended to 40 degrees and the aircraft was trimmed nose down.