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N98923 accident description

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Crash location 38.941111°N, 76.772223°W
Nearest city Mitchellville, MD
38.925112°N, 76.742746°W
1.9 miles away
Tail number N98923
Accident date 24 Aug 2013
Aircraft type Cessna 172P
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot reported that while taxiing for takeoff for a local flight with passengers, the right rudder felt “stiff.” Once in the air, the rudder operated normally; however, the pilot’s first landing was “hard.” After picking up a second set of passengers, the pilot noticed that while taxiing back to the runway, the right rudder felt even more stiff. At one point during the taxi, the pilot “stomped” on the rudder to steer the airplane right, but did not think much of the anomaly, as the airplane seemed to move normally after applying additional engine power. During the subsequent takeoff, the pilot noticed that the right rudder pedal continued to feel stiffer than it had during the previous takeoff.


During the second landing, the airplane veered immediately left upon touchdown and departed the runway. The pilot attempted to correct the airplane’s course, but the right rudder pedal was unresponsive. The pilot then attempted to abort the landing, but once in the air, he realized the airplane would not be able to climb above approaching trees and decided to land the airplane in a farm field. During the landing the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane nosed over, resulting in substantial damage. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airframe and flight controls following the accident and confirmed that the rudder was free to move, but that the nose steering system of the airplane had been compromised during the accident and its pre-impact functionality could not be determined. When asked how the accident could have been prevented the pilot stated, “After a hard land[ing] have the plane inspected – Don’t takeoff even if it seems normal.”

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s decision to depart with a known deficiency following a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was an anomaly of the airplane’s nosewheel steering that could not be replicated during post-accident examination.

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