On July 15, 1999, at 1800 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172K, N46451, sustained substantial damage when it collided with power lines and trees during an aborted landing at Taft, California. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Kern Charter, Inc. The student pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane departed from the municipal airport in Bakersfield, California, at 1715. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated he completed basic air work maneuvers, then proceeded to Taft to practice landings. He indicated the normal procedure at Taft was to land on runway 25 and depart on runway 07 due to terrain and runway slope considerations. The airport/facility directory, southwest U.S., notes a 2.2 percent uphill grade for runway 25.
The pilot stated that when he first flew over the airport he observed the winds were from 050 degrees at 10 to 12 knots. He made a go-around on his first attempted landing. On the second attempt he landed on runway 25 and took off on runway 07. On the third attempt, the pilot said he landed with full flaps and the airplane began drifting to the right as it slowed down. As he was correcting, he felt the nose wheel "skid/shimmy." He was approximately halfway down the runway at 35 knots when the airplane departed the right side of the runway. He added power, closed the carburetor heat, and aborted the landing. He estimated he re-entered the runway with approximately 150 yards of pavement remaining. He stated his rotation speed was approximately 50 knots and 30 yards of asphalt remained. During the takeoff attempt, the airplane contacted a power line and treetops. The pilot said he had the flaps partially up by this point, but was unsure of their exact position. The airplane hit a second set of power lines and the left wing struck a power pole. The airplane then crossed a road before it came to rest.
The Federal Aviation Administration accident coordinator measured ground tracks and determined the airplane veered approximately 80 feet off the runway. He noted the tracks led back to the runway and estimated liftoff was 270 yards from the airport boundary fence. He estimated the first set of power lines was less than 0.25-mile from the runway.