On November 6, 1998, about 2111 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172N, N1901S, registered to Major Strategies, Inc., operated by Dolphin Flying Club, collided with a light pole and a vehicle during an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the certified flight instructor (CFI), private pilot-rated student, and two passengers were not injured. The individual in the vehicle was not injured. The flight originated about 2030, from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The CFI stated that after takeoff the student performed one ILS approach to runway 8 then circled to perform a touch-and-go landing on runway 26. The airplane was landed about 2,000 feet down the 6,001-foot runway with full flaps. During the landing roll, the flap selector was placed to the "up" position and carburetor heat was removed. The flight continued and about 100 feet msl, he noted that the airspeed was slower than expected. One of the rear seat occupants who is a pilot stated that the flaps were not retracted. The CFI advised the tower of this and unable to maintain altitude, the CFI maneuvered the airplane toward a road. While flaring for landing, a vehicle passed under the airplane and the left elevator contacted and damaged the rear window of the vehicle. The airplane then landed on the road and during the roll, the outer portion of the right wing collided with a light pole. The airplane then yawed to the right and came to rest upright with the nose landing gear collapsed. The CFI further stated that before takeoff, he did not perform weight and balance calculations.
Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the 15-amp flap circuit breaker was popped. A total of 34 gallons were drained from both fuel tanks. Damage to the right wing and flap was noted. The roof of the vehicle was damaged and the rear window was shattered. The airplane was recovered for further examination.
Examination by an FAA airworthiness inspector revealed that the flap actuator was extended 6 inches (36 threads). According to Cessna personnel, flap actuator extension of 5.9 inches equates to full flap extension. The right flap was disconnected, the circuit breaker was set, and with battery power available, the flap selector was positioned to the "up" position. The flap actuator retracted. The flap selector was then positioned to the "down" position and a stuck microswitch prevented the flap actuator from extending. The microswitch was freed, and the flap actuator extended in conjunction with lowering the flap selector. The flap selector was raised and lowered which resulted in retraction and extension of the flap actuator. The right flap was reconnected and the flap selector was moved with the resulting attempt to move the damaged right flap. Examination of the wiring harness revealed no defects.
Weight and balance calculations were performed using the weights obtained from the rear seat passengers obtained during in-person interviews the evening of the accident. The weights of the pilot-in-command (CFI) and the pilot-rated left front seat occupant were obtained from FAA records. Also, the fuel quantity was determined using the actual amount drained post accident minus the unusable fuel amount of 18 pounds. The calculations revealed that the airplane was 38.8 pounds over gross weight at the time of the accident.