On April 16, 1997, at 0823 mountain daylight time, a Cessna A185E, N70194, operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, ground-looped during the landing roll at Billings, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private pilot and flight instructor were not injured. The flight had originated from Miles City, Montana, approximately one hour prior to the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the private pilot reported that he made an approach to runway 28 right. During the approach, the airplane encountered wind shear and turbulence. The pilot stated that the airplane was almost uncontrollable and the landing was aborted. The private pilot asked the flight instructor to take over the controls and land the airplane since the flight instructor had more time in the airplane. The flight instructor took over and made an approach to runway 16. During the landing, the wind picked up the right wing and the left wing contacted the runway.
In a written statement, the flight instructor reported similar circumstances as the private pilot. The flight instructor stated that he does not recall if the current ATIS or the controller on duty mentioned the turbulent conditions. The flight instructor stated that the controller offered runway 25 right, however, the flight instructor opted to use runway 16 instead. The flight instructor stated that the approach was normal for the crosswind conditions. When the airplane was in the flare, the left wing went down and struck the runway. The flight instructor stated that he corrected by applying power, and inputting right rudder and right aileron control, however, the airplane veered to the left and tipped up onto its nose.
The flight instructor stated that the private pilot was acting as pilot-in-command, and that the purpose of the flight was to give the private pilot a flight review, and to have the intercom system worked on at Billings.
Air traffic communications indicate that after the flight made contact with the air traffic controller, they were given the wind conditions of 210 degrees at 16 knots and the option to choose any runway. The pilot selected runway 28 right, and the controller cleared the flight to land behind a Cessna 210. Just prior to the Cessna 210 landing, the controller announced the winds from 220 degrees at 16 knots.
Shortly after the Cessna 210 landed and cleared the runway, the pilot of N70194 reported that he needed to go-around. The controller instructed the pilot to enter right traffic for runway 25, and that a call to turn onto the base leg would be made. During this time, a commercial DC-9 was on final approach to runway 28 right.
The controller then instructed the pilot to make a right turn for runway 25, and announced the wind from 280 degrees at 17 knots. The controller informed the pilot that unless he preferred runway 25, he could come back around for runway 28 right. The pilot responded that he would stay with runway 25. The controller then informed the pilot that the wind was from 220 degrees at 16 knots, and cleared the flight to land on runway 25.
Shortly after the controller cleared the flight for runway 25, the controller announced that it looked like the flight was lined up with a left base for runway 16, and asked the pilot if he wanted that runway. The pilot responded by asking what the wind was. The controller stated that the wind was from 220 degrees at 17 knots. The pilot responded that he would land on runway 16. The controller then cleared the flight to land on runway 16. There was no further transmission from the pilot
During the communication sequence with the pilots of N70194, and other private and commercial aircraft taking off and landing, there was no mention of turbulence or wind shear conditions reported to the controller.