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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 149259
Last updated: 30 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP
Registration: N21750
C/n / msn: 172S9641
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Lake Irene Drive and Bexley Road in Land O\' Lakes -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Pensacola, FL (PNS)
Destination airport:Tampa, FL (VDF)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot purchased the airplane and he was returning to his home base. The pilot checked in with an approach controller about 52 miles north-northwest of the destination airport; at the time, the airplane was flying under visual flight rules, and night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot initiated a gradual descent from 7,500 feet mean sea level and an air traffic controller radioed the pilot after he observed the airplane descending below 1,000 feet mean sea level. The pilot never responded to the controllerís radio calls, and the airplane impacted pastureland about 17 miles from the destination airport.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane collided with trees at a very shallow descent angle. No evidence of a pre-existing mechanical failure or anomaly was observed.

A review of the pilotís actions during the 9 days prior to the accident revealed that he flew a 5-day international trip as a crewmember for the airline for which he flew as a captain, and then returned to Zurich 3 days before the accident. About 4 hours later, he began a trip as a passenger to Colorado.

On the day before the accident, the pilot began the first of three legs of a cross country flight, with the third leg being the accident flight. He was awake for about 18 hours at the time of the accident, with stops only being taken for food and airplane servicing.

Over the 9-day period before the accident, the pilot made three crossings of the Atlantic Ocean (each exceeding 6 time zones). These multiple and frequent time zone crossings would result in circadian disruption and would have diminished the pilotís ability to obtain restorative sleep during this period, which, in combination with the pilotís extended time awake on the day of the accident, would have caused the pilot to be in a fatigued state. The circumstances of the accident and his fatigue-inducing schedule in the preceding days indicate that the pilot most likely fell asleep during the initial descent for landing, and the airplane subsequently descended into the trees and terrain.
Probable Cause: The pilotís decision to continue the cross-country flight while fatigued, which resulted in him falling asleep during the initial descent for landing.



Revision history:

22-Sep-2012 10:52 gerard57 Added
22-Sep-2012 11:36 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration]
22-Sep-2012 11:44 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source]
24-Sep-2012 11:57 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 13:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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