On April 9, 2004, at 1415 eastern standard time, a Cessna 150M, N6160K, received substantial damage on impact with terrain while on initial climb from runway 33 (3,596 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) at Marion Municipal Airport (MZZ), Marion, Indiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The instructional flight was operating under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The student pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) received minor injuries. The local flight originated from MZZ at 1315. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The CFI stated the following in the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Accident Report:
"Practicing landings with a new student at MZZ. Student owned plane for about 4 years but hadn't yet soloed. I'm guessing he has around 30 hrs total. Had not seen his logbook yet. Took off about 1:15 pm. He flew plane well. Very coordinated. After a little while of just flying around getting familiar with plane, (heading, altitude etc.) we decided to head back [and] shoot some touch-n-gos. Student commented earlier that he had trouble with deciding when to flare. The winds were variable from about 060-330 and gusting from no wind to about 10 kts. We took off on runway 04 so we decided to land 04 to start off. Good pattern, good approach flared a little high and then the wind tossed him around a little bit on touch down. Firm landing with the plane weather vaning to the left. He cleaned the plane up and we took off. I think I put the flaps up for him. This time around I had him look at the wind tee when we were on a downwind, it was favoring runway 33. We changed our pattern into a downwind for 33. Good pattern, good approach. I asked him not to flare, but to just level off above the runway and fly down the runway. Knowing that as the airspeed came down with the plane sinking it would turn into a flare. As he came down and leveled off above the runway the wind blew us to the left of the runway. To that point I don't remember being crabbed into the wind at all. We were heading straight down the runway when we were blown off. The next thing that I remember is being in a hospital in Ft. Wayne. I don't remember any part of the accident."
The student pilot stated that he was working towards obtaining a private pilot certificate. The student pilot stated that he was in the process of switching instructors, and the accident flight was his first lesson with the CFI. The student pilot stated that they had flown around the area for approximately 30 minutes and then proceeded to perform touch and gos on runway 22. They performed 5 or 6 touch and go's before changing to runway 33 because they were being blown off runway 22. They then performed 3 or 4 touch and go's on runway 33. The CFI noted he was flaring to high and wanted him to fly down the runway at 3-5 feet. The CFI had been operating the flaps for him during the entire flight. The student pilot flew the airplane at 65 knots in ground effect with flaps extended half way down the runway. The CFI then said full power and go around. The student pilot stated that the engine was roaring and he was concerned that they were at a point past highway 37 and not climbing. The student pilot stated that the CFI took control and pulled the nose up, then turned hard left to avoid trees and power lines. The student pilot stated that he reached for the flaps to retract them.
The NTSB did not receive a Pilot/Operator Accident Report from the student pilot.
A Pilot/Operator Accident Report was mailed via certified mail and received by the student pilot on April 27, 2004.
A witness stated that the airplane's attitude was nose high and appeared to be at a very low airspeed at approximately 50 feet above the runway. The flaps appeared to be fully extended and the aircraft flew the length of the runway and appeared to be struggling for airspeed and altitude. After the aircraft flew over the departure end of runway 33, the flaps appeared to be partially extended
The 1975 Cessna 150M, serial number 15077561, airplane had a maximum gross weight of 1,600 lbs. According to the latest airplane weight and balance form dated May 27, 1998, the airplane had a basic empty weight of 1,113 lbs and a useful load of 487 lbs. Airman medical certificate information indicated that the student pilot and CFI weighed 196 lbs and 220 lbs, respectively. The airplane had total fuel load of 26 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel or 22.5 gallons of usable fuel at the time of the flight's origination. The student pilot stated that an airplane weight and balance was not performed for the accident flight.
The Kokomo Municipal Airport, Kokomo, Indiana, Automated Weather Observing System located 17 nautical miles west of MZZ, recorded at 1415: wind 280 at 8 knots.
Inspection of the main wreckage revealed the flaps were extended 20 degrees, and the wreckage and impact damage was consistent with a stall. Flight control continuity was confirmed.
The Cessna 150M Pilot's Operating Handbook states the flaps are to be selected to 0 degress for best angle and rate of climbs.
The CFI sustained a two inch laceration above his left eye and reported head pain. The CFI stated that he was not using the airplane's available shoulder harness. Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) publication, FAA-P-8740-45, Your Shoulder Harness, states:
"Shoulder harnesses can substantially reduce injury in case of an accident. Experts estimate that serious injuries and fatalities would be reduced 35 percent if everyone wore shoulder harnesses in aircraft. Ironically, only 23 percent of those involved in fatal/serious injury accidents in a recent year had their shoulder harness secured, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Shoulder harnesses are standard equipment in front seats of all general aviation aircraft built since 1978. They've been installed or made available at every seat in some aircraft long before that. Unfortunately, pilots often treat installed shoulder harnesses as optional equipment. Pilots who wear seat belts (even to taxi) sometimes omit fastening their shoulder harness."
FAA publication FAA-H-8083-9, Aviation Instructor's Handbook, is designed for ground instructors, flight instructors, and aviation maintenance instructors. The handbook provides aviation instructors with up-to-date information on learning and teaching, and how to relate this information to the task of conveying aeronautical knowledge and skills to students. The handbook states the following under Safety Practices and Accident Prevention:
"The safety practices emphasized by instructors have a long lasting effect on students. Generally, students consider their instructor to be a model of perfection whose habits they attempt to imitate, whether consciously or unconsciously. The instructor’s advocacy and description of safety practices mean little to a student if the instructor does not demonstrate them consistently."
"To maintain a professional image, a flight instructor must carefully observe all regulations and recognized safety practices during all flight operations. An instructor who is observed to fly with apparent disregard for loading limitations or weather minimums creates an image of irresponsibility that many hours of scrupulous flight instruction can never correct. Habitual observance of regulations, safety precautions, and the precepts of courtesy will enhance the instructor's image of professionalism. Moreover, such habits make the instructor more effective by encouraging students to develop similar habits."