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CGBFY accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location 42.260556°N, 84.460556°W
Nearest city Jackson, MI
42.245869°N, 84.401346°W
3.2 miles away
Tail number CGBFY
Accident date 05 Jul 2017
Aircraft type Cessna 182T
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 5, 2017, at 1655 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182T, C-GBFY, impacted the runway surface when it porpoised during the takeoff roll of a stop-and-go landing on runway 14 at Jackson County Airport-Reynolds Field (JXN), Jackson, Michigan. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were uninjured. The airplane was operated by Brampton Flight Centre under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a training flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was departing at the time of the accident.

The pilot and pilot-rated passenger were both students of a pilot training program by Brampton Flight Centre, located in Caledon, Ontario. The purpose of the flight was for the pilot to accrue flight time toward the issuance of a Transport Canada commercial pilot license. The flight originated from Brampton Flight Center about 1300 and was destined to JXN. After arrival at JXN, the flight was to continue to Gary/Chicago International Airport (GYY), Gary, Indiana.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector from the Detroit (East Michigan) Flight Standards District Office, when the airplane arrived at JXN it touched down near the runway 14 numbers with heavy braking consistent with a short field landing and then took off, for a stop-and-go, on runway 14 (4,000 ft by 100 ft, asphalt), which had 80-foot trees about 2,600 ft from the runway departure end.

The pilot submitted three National Transportation Safety Board Accident Pilot/Operator Accident/Incident Reports, form 6120.1, dated from July 12 – July 14, 2017. Each submission followed a conversation that the pilot had with FAA inspector(s), in which the FAA presented their investigative findings to the pilot.

The pilot stated in his initial submission of form 6120.1, that he began the takeoff roll and called out "full power confirmed, temperature pressure in the green, airspeed alive." After reaching the rotate speed of 55 knots, the airplane attained liftoff and climbed to an altitude of about 50 ft above ground level before it was unable to climb higher and remained level for about a second. The pilot said that there was no change in airplane attitude that would have been indicative of an aerodynamic stall. He noted that there was a "transient failure" of several Primary Flight Display instruments (red X's over instruments that would not be operational with an inoperative engine but with the battery on). The airplane pitched down and landed nose wheel first despite his attempt to flare. He determined that attempting a landing off the runway would have resulted in an incursion with the trees or vehicular traffic. He set engine power to idle after the first porpoise and flared the airplane to touch down as smoothly as possible after the first porpoise. Upon initial touchdown, the airplane porpoised approximately three times before the pilot regained control and stopped the airplane near the end of the runway. The pilot stated that the engine continued to operate throughout the entire accident sequence, and that he taxied the airplane off the runway, and the engine was shut down after requested to do so by air traffic control.

The initial submission of form 6120 had the pilot's recommendation of how the accident could have been prevented. He stated that the Cessna 182T is nose heavy, and that he had witnessed hard landings in the airplane because of landing with the engine at idle power. He stated that if the airplane lands with idle power in normal conditions, the nose will drop first with a more rapid descent in comparison to a Cessna 172. He added that if a Cessna 182T were to lose engine power at a low altitude after takeoff, it would porpoise as the nose would drop aggressively; something he had seen when practicing forced landing approaches or power idle descents in the airplane.

On July 13, 2017, FAA inspectors examined the airplane and found that the Garmin 1000 multi-function display did not have an inserted SD memory card. A review of the available maintenance records did not show the aircraft had been updated for the installation of an SD memory card. The nose pitch trim was found in the full-down position. Inspectors applied airplane's battery power and actuated the nose pitch trim through its travel limits and noted that it functioned without anomaly. When one-half of the pitch trim's split-toggle control switch, which was mounted on the pilot's control yoke, was actuated, the trim would not engage, consistent with proper functioning of the control switch. The elevator and ailerons were moved using the pilots (left seat) yoke, which confirmed proper movement of the controls from stop to stop without any evidence of binding or excessive control force.

After FAA inspector(s) told the pilot that a post-accident examination of the airplane found the nose trim was found in the full nose-down position, the pilot submitted a second form 6120.1 in which he stated that the autopilot was confirmed to be in the off position twice before landing at JXN and was not engaged for the accident takeoff. The pilot's recommendation in his second submission was he would personally recommend that the electric trim and autopilot be removed. He stated that the trim has a history of running away with the autopilot sometimes performing un-commanded maneuvers and by luck it had happened at high altitudes where recovery was possible; it is a hazard to a pilot who may not be able to recognize it quickly. He said the this was pertinent because the airplane is used by student pilots who may not have the same level of situational awareness just yet.

On July 14, 2017, the pilot-rated passenger stated after the airplane came to a full stop, the pilot asked her to retract the wing flaps from 30° to 0°. A full stop was complete, the pilot asked the pilot-rated passenger to retract the flaps to 0°, from 30°. After "deemed all clear for takeoff", full power was applied. The pilot called gauges green, airspeed alive, airspeed in the green, and rotate; the pilot-rated passenger "observed that the calls were correct." During the takeoff roll, the pilot asked for the flaps to be extended to 10°, the pilot-rated passenger was unsure when the flaps locked into place. The pilot-rated passenger had no recollection of the pitch trim being adjusted, after landing and following the accident, from a full nose-down position.

On July 18, 2017, the pilot provided a statement to the FAA stating that he did not know the cause of the accident and that his "previous suggestions of runaway trim and power loss are my perceptions at the time of the accident; not personally substantiated."

On July 19, 2017, a post-accident examination of the airplane was performed by an airframe and power plant mechanic with inspection authorization under the supervision of the FAA. Flight control continuity, tension, and freedom was confirmed. The control surface deflections for the ailerons, elevator, elevator trim tab, and wing flaps were within limits specified in the airplane's type certificate data sheet. The examination of the Auto Pilot Preflight Self Test performed per 182T NAV III Skylane Information Manual, Supplement 3, pages S3-22 to S3-26. No discrepancies were noted with the autopilot system during the examination. Engine compression from all cylinders was confirmed. Ignition timing was within the engine's type certificate data sheet specifications. Fuel samples taken from the fuel sump drains and header tank revealed no fuel contamination. The engine fuel injector flow and volume were tested, and no anomalies were noted. Examination of the propeller governor adjustment revealed no anomalies.

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B) stated, in part:

"Flap extension has a definite effect on the airplane's pitch behavior. The increased camber from flap deflection produces lift primarily on the rear portion of the wing. This produces a nose-down pitching moment; however, the change in tail loads from the downwash deflected by the flaps over the horizontal tail has a significant influence on the pitching moment. …

Flap deflection of up to 15° primarily produces lift with minimal drag. The airplane has a tendency to balloon up with initial flap deflection because of the lift increase. The nose down pitching moment, however, tends to offset the balloon."

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain pitch control during the takeoff roll during an attempted takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's selection of takeoff flaps after he began the takeoff roll.

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