On October 26, 1998, approximately 1500 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172K, N736VR, registered to and being flown by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage during a loss of control on landing roll on a road near Dillon, Montana. The pilot was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and originated from Dillon shortly before the accident.

The student pilot reported to an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) at Helena, Montana, that while landing on a dirt road with a crosswind, the aircraft got off to one side of the road into uneven terrain. The nose wheel then hit a rut and the right wing struck an embankment.

According to another FAA inspector, the student pilot telephonically contacted him at the Helena FSDO on January 11, 1998, and discussed the accident. The inspector reported that the student pilot was "asked if he knew that he had to have training and proper endorsements, he said no, he didn't know about training and endorsements, also that he had taken ground school in Dillon but didn't do very well so [he] didn't take [the] test. He feels he really goofed up and [the] accident was his own fault" (refer to ATTACHMENT FAA-I).

The student pilot was sent NTSB Form 6120.1/2 (Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report) via US mail on October 30, 1998, and no response was received. A second request was made via certified US mail on December 28, 1998. The pilot signed for receipt of this form on January 9, 1999, (refer to ATTACHMENT C-I). No response had been received as of the completion of this report (March 19, 1999).

The pilot's student pilot certificate, a third class medical, was issued on February 11, 1998, and the student reported a total of 160 hours of flight time at that time. A copy of his personal logbook was provided by the FAA and reviewed. The logbook was opened with a first flight of August 24, 1995, and the last logged flight was noted on October 21, 1998. All 183 flights logged were in the Cessna 172 aircraft and all but 3 were logged in N736VR. The total flight time as of October 21, 1998 was approximately 200 hours, with approximately 158 hours pilot-in-command (solo).

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