SEA98LA144
SEA98LA144

On July 18, 1998, approximately 2030 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172P, N53630, operated by Wings Aloft Inc. of Boeing Field/King County International Airport, Seattle, Washington, was substantially damaged in a loss of control occurrence during a touch-and-go landing attempt on Boeing Field runway 13L. Following the loss of control, the aircraft departed the surface of runway 13L and struck and damaged airport signs. The student pilot, who was on his first solo flight, was not injured in the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the 14 CFR 91 local instructional flight out of Boeing Field.

Preliminary information furnished to the NTSB by the airport police, who conducted the initial response to the accident scene, indicated that the student pilot lost control of the aircraft shortly after touchdown, at a point approximately 150 feet north of the A-4 taxiway (NOTE: the A-4 taxiway intersects runway 13L approximately 1,600 feet southeast of the runway threshold.) The aircraft left the pavement, continuing in a southwesterly direction for approximately 125 feet across a grass island. It then entered the section of taxiway A-4 between runways 13L and 13R, striking and shearing off a combination ILS HOLD/runway designator sign located on the north side of that taxiway. The aircraft then continued southwest across the A-4 taxiway and traveled approximately 125 feet before coming to rest on an easterly heading approximately 90 feet west of runway 13L. Winds were reported as being from 180 degrees at 8 knots in Boeing Field's 2045 hourly observation.

In a written statement to Wings Aloft, which Wings Aloft furnished to the NTSB with its operator's report of accident, the student pilot, a native of India, reported:

On touchdown, the aircraft appeared to be on the left of the center line. Right rudder was applied to correct for that. The aircraft got dragged [a] little more [and] went on one wheel, the right wheel. I let it [sic] go the rudder to neutral so that the aircraft would come back to its neutral position on three wheels. However, since it was already drifted, it was going towards the side of the runway [and] hit the runway signboard [and] got deflected in the grass on the right of the runway.

The student pilot's flight instructor, who was observing the pilot from the Boeing Field flight line at the time, reported that after 4 dual touch-and-go landings immediately prior to the accident, the student dropped her off at the airport terminal. She stated that his first landing was "slightly bumpy, but fine overall." She reported that on final approach for the second landing, "the airplane appeared to be slightly high, resulting in a landing farther down the runway than usual." She stated that the airplane touched down right wheel first, slightly left of centerline, and that she was unable to see whether the left wheel ever touched down. She reported the airplane "then careened right, lifting slightly onto the right wheel, stabilized heading toward the taxiway, hit two signs, and went into the grass while being turned left 90 degrees." The flight instructor, who prepared the operator's report of accident, reported that no mechanical failure or malfunction was involved in the accident. She reported the student pilot's total time as 25.3 hours.

Boeing Field runway 13L is a 3,710 foot long by 100 foot wide asphalt surface runway. The runway threshold is displaced 240 feet, giving a usable landing distance of 3,470 feet. The runway is equipped with a 2-bar visual approach slope indicator (VASI) on the left side of the runway. The VASI is set for a glide path angle of 3.34 degrees and a threshold crossing height of 49 feet.

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