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N1857C accident description

New Hampshire map... New Hampshire list
Crash location 42.962500°N, 70.828611°W
Nearest city Hampton, NH
42.939257°N, 70.834220°W
1.6 miles away
Tail number N1857C
Accident date 04 Sep 2006
Aircraft type Cessna 170B
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On September 4, 2006, at 1807 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 170B, N1857C, was substantially damaged when it impacted a hangar during the takeoff roll at Hampton Airfield (7B3), Hampton, New Hampshire. The certificated private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight destined for Boire Field Airport (ASH), Nashua, New Hampshire, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to witness statements, the airplane arrived at 7B3 at approximately 1300 for a local event and was observed to almost "groundloop" during the landing.

Later that day witnesses observed the airplane during an attempted departure from runway 2. The engine seemed to be producing full power, and the pilot, was observed sitting erect and looking straight ahead. The airplane began to veer to the right, struck a runway light, crossed an unpaved access road and then impacted the west side of a hangar located 1,200 feet from the approach end of runway 2. It did not appear that there was any attempt by the pilot to stop or turn the airplane prior to the impact.


According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine-land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on July 13, 2006. He reported 1,800 total hours of flight experience on that date.


According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1953. Examination by an FAA inspector revealed that it had been modified sometime after leaving the factory and a Lycoming O-360-L2A engine, a Hartzell constant-speed propeller, and wing "fences" had been installed.

According to maintenance records, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on August 21, 2006. During that inspection, the pilot's seat-locking mechanism had been replaced and the tailwheel assembly repaired. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued 4552.94 total hours of operation. The engine had accrued 937.64 hours of operation since its last overhaul.


The recorded weather at Pease International Tradeport Airport (PSM), Portsmouth, New Hampshire, located 6 miles north of the accident site, at 1755, included, winds from 290 degrees at 9 knots, visibility 20 miles, broken clouds at 3,500 feet, temperature 68 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 29.94 inches of mercury.


Hampton Airfield had one runway, oriented in a 2/20 configuration. Runway 2 was turf, in good condition. The total length of the runway was 2100 feet, and its width was 170 feet.


Examination of the airplane was conducted under the supervision of the FAA.

All major components of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site.

The leading edges of both wings exhibited compression and impact damage that correlated to impact marks on the hangar door and wall. The firewall was pushed aft and to the right and the cockpit floor was pushed upward.

Flight control continuity was established for all flight controls. The left hand rudder cable was intact with the exception of a tension overload separation approximately 18 inches aft of the pedal attach point. The left hand aileron cable was intact, and the right hand aileron cable was intact except for a tension overload separation in the cockpit floor area. The aileron crossover cable exhibited a tension overload separation in the left hand wing root. The left hand flap retract cable was intact, and the other flap cables exhibited tension overload separations in the inboard wing sections.

The elevator trim actuator rod extension measured 1.6 inches, which equated to a 5.5 degree tab down setting.

Examination of the cockpit revealed that the throttle control was in the maximum power position, the mixture control was full rich, and the propeller control was set to high RPM. The wing flap handle was in the full down (0-degree) position.

No shoulder harnesses were installed. The pilot's and front seat passenger's lap belts were found to be operative, and were securely attached to the airframe.

The two front seats were of two different designs. No preimpact failures of either the seats or seat mounting hardware were evident.

The pilot's seat was a vertically adjustable seat, not the factory installed seat, and had a weld repair on the forward inboard leg. It was found to have remained attached to the seat rails, by the outboard aft, and inboard forward feet. Its seat adjustment rod lower tip had been sheared off and was found in the airplane under the rear bench seat. The seat's adjustment pin's upper end had remained attached to the seat and was bent aft at the bottom. Its seat tracks had two seat stops installed; one Cessna stop, and one non-Cessna. The forward ends of the seat tracks were curled upward.

The right front seat appeared to have been original. It remained attached at all four feet and the adjustment pin was engaged in a forward seat track hole. All seat track stop pin holes were worn.

The engine exhibited no preimpact anomalies. Both magnetos were functional and produced spark at all leads. Continuity of the intake system, exhaust system, valve train, and crankshaft was confirmed. The crankshaft was then rotated by hand, and no binding was noted. Thumb compression was obtained on all four cylinders, ignition system continuity was confirmed, and all sparkplug electrodes were intact and appeared normal.

Examination of the fuel system was also conducted. The left wing tank and the firewall fuel strainer were intact and full of fuel, which tested negative for water contamination. The right wing tank was breached, but contained several gallons of fuel. The fuel selector valve was in the "OFF" position where it had been moved by fire department personnel. The accelerator pump and carburetor butterfly valve were functional.

The airplane was equipped with a Hartzell constant speed propeller. Its blades exhibited chordwise scratching, forward blade bending, and tip damage. The propeller hub was also intact and remained attached to the crankshaft flange.


According to the FAA, the aircraft has been registered to the pilot since June 29, 1964. No records of a field approval, or major repair and alteration to the accident airplane was discovered in FAA records that authorized installation of the non-standard Lycoming engine, Hartzell constant-speed propeller, wing "fences," or pilot's seat.

No registration, certificate of airworthiness, engine maintenance log, propeller maintenance log, or pilot logbooks were discovered, or provided to the FAA or Safety Board during the investigation.

No "Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1" was received and according to family members, neither the pilot nor passenger could remember the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff.

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