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N4396R accident description

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Tail numberN4396R
Accident dateJune 28, 2009
Aircraft typeCessna 172M
LocationRimrock, WA
Near 46.643333 N, -121.112222 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On June 28, 2009, about 1510 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N4396R, collided with trees during an attempted go-around at Tieton State Airport, Rimrock, Washington. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certificated private pilot and one passenger were killed; a second passenger sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. The personal flight departed Yakima Air Terminal/McAllister Field, Yakima, Washington, at 1441. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot’s wife was waiting at Tieton airport for the airplane to arrive. She was located in her vehicle positioned on the west side of runway 02 at approximately midfield. She stated that the airplane did not arrive at the expected time, so she drove down to the approach end of runway 02. She waited for an additional 10 minutes and decided to drive back up to her original location. As she approached midfield she caught site of an airplane flying along and above the runway at tree top level. As the airplane passed by her position she observed two people running along the runway edge in the direction of the airplane. She described the weather at the time of the accident to be breezy, and that she was concerned the pilot may have difficulty landing in such conditions.

Witnesses who were located at the runway midfield position stated that they arrived at the airport earlier that day via airplane. They reported the weather conditions to be warm and windy with the winds out of the west. They observed the airplane making the approach to land at runway 02 and stated that its approach was higher, and faster than normal. They observed the airplane fly along and over the runway at tree top level as it passed their position. Approximately 3/4 of the way down the runway, the airplane had not touched down and they heard the engine power increase. They then ran towards the airplane as it began to climb above the trees at the end of the runway. They noted that throughout the climb out sequence the airplane’s angle of attack was high, and as it climbed away they could clearly see the upper wing surface. The airplane then disappeared beyond their view just above the tree tops at the end of the runway.

A witness located at the departure end of runway 02 observed the airplane fly over his position. He visually followed the path of the airplane and watched the left wing strike the top of a tree. The airplane then disappeared from his view and he heard a crashing sound.

Tieton airport is a turf airstrip located at an elevation of 2,964 feet on the eastern shore of Rimrock Lake. Runway 02 is 2,509 feet in length and 140 feet wide; it slopes uphill and is flanked to the north by mountains with peaks ranging between 4,500 and 6,515 feet.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.