On June 13, 2002, about 1345 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N793SP, registered to Delstar Aviation LLC, and operated by a private individual as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed during a landing at First Flight Airport, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan was filed. The airplane incurred substantial damage. The private-rated pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The flight originated from New Castle County Airport, Wilmington, Delaware, the same day, about 1100. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he cancelled his instrument fight rules (IFR) flight plan, about 7 miles north of the airport, and proceeded to start his approach to runway 02. He stated that there was another airplane in the area towing a banner, and heard from the pilot of that airplane that the winds "were pretty much crosswind" to the active runway, but were "not bad." He stated that after doing his landing checklist he descended to 815 feet above the ground before entering the traffic pattern. He noticed "light to moderate" turbulence below 1,000 feet. He turned the airplane onto final approach and noted "significant" turbulence on final. He elected to keep the flaps at 20 degrees, and the airspeed at "75-80," with a "marginal" crab to correct for the crosswind. After crossing the threshold of runway 2, he said, "...a large gust of wind lift[ed] the aircraft up significantly." At this point he realized that he was above the runway, he applied full power, and attempted to go around. He was watching his vertical speed indicator and altimeter for a "positive rate of climb," but he said that the airplane "...almost felt like it was being pushed back down on the runway." He felt that he had "no choice" but to attempt to land back on the runway. The airplane landed on the runway "with force" about halfway down the runway. After touchdown the power was at idle, he applied "heavy" brakes, and attempted to keep the nose of the airplane in an "upward position" to slow down. The end of the runway was near, the brakes locked and the airplane was now on the soft sand beyond the runway. The airplane continued to move until it hit some mounds of sand, and came to a "sudden stop" when it hit a ditch.
According to the FAA inspector's statement, the pilot attempted a balked landing "too late" along the 3,000-foot paved strip and "lost control" of the aircraft and skidded off the end of the runway. The aircraft came to rest on the other side of a ditch after passing over several mounds of sand.
The reported winds at Manteo, North Carolina, about 6 miles southeast of the crash site were reported to be from 090 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 14 knots.