FTW03LA056
FTW03LA056

On December 3, 2002, at 1345 central standard time, a Cessna 172M single-engine airplane, N4470R, was substantially damaged when the airplane nosed over during a precautionary landing to an open field near Vici, Oklahoma. The non-instrument rated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight. A weather briefing was received and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from Liberal, Kansas, at approximately 1200. The flight's destination was the Wiley Post International Airport, near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The pilot, who had accumulated 99 hours of flight time, reported that the flight departed Liberal, Kansas, with the weather conditions "light to moderate snow and 5-7 miles visibility." Subsequently, the ice accumulated throughout the airframe and the pilot performed an unscheduled landing at Woodward, Oklahoma (WWR) to remove the ice. After the pilot partially removed the ice and obtained an update on the weather conditions via the computer, the flight departed Woodward for Oklahoma City.

During cruise flight, the pilot noted an indicated airspeed of 115 mph and the flight encountered freezing rain and structural ice which continued to accumulate. Within the next 20 miles, the pilot observed the indicated airspeed decrease to 100, then 90, and finally 80 mph. The pilot reported that he decreased the pitch of the airplane to maintain the airspeed at 80 mph and diverted the flight to the Vici Municipal Airport; however, the airplane was unable to maintain 80 mph, and the pilot elected to perform a precautionary landing to an open field short of the airport.

During the landing roll in rough and uneven terrain, the nose gear collapsed, and the airplane nosed-over coming to rest in the inverted position. The engine firewall sustained structural damage, a propeller blade was bent, and the top portion of the vertical stabilizer was crushed.

Gage, Oklahoma (GAG), located 30.4 nautical miles east southeast (103 degrees) of the accident site was the nearest weather reporting station to the accident site. About the time of the accident, GAG was reporting calm winds, visibility 4 statute miles with freezing rain and haze, few clouds at 1,000 feet, a broken ceiling at 1,500 feet, and overcast at 2,800 feet. The temperature was 28 degrees Fahrenheit and the dew point was 27 degrees Fahrenheit, with an altimeter setting of 30.23 inches of Mercury.

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