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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 150719
Last updated: 4 December 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172N Skyhawk
Registration: N6142F
C/n / msn: 17273155
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Woods near Knox County Regional Airport (KRKD), Rockland, ME -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Owls Head, ME (RKD)
Destination airport:Bangor, ME (BGR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Shortly after the end of civil twilight and during the departure roll with about liftoff speed, the airplane collided with a private ground vehicle that was crossing the runway, which resulted in the separation of the airplane’s right elevator. The vehicle driver reported that he did not see the airplane until after the collision as it was attempting to gain altitude. Witnesses observed the airplane attempting to climb, drifting left of the runway, and then beginning a left turn. Witnesses then observed the airplane in “slow flight” and subsequently spinning until impact.
Examination of the vehicle revealed impact marks on the left front fender consistent in size and shape with the airplane’s right elevator. One light bulb from the vehicle’s headlights was located, and examination of the light bulb revealed that the filament was stretched, which is consistent with the light being on at the time of the collision. The driver stated that he did not, nor was ever required to, have a yellow beacon on his vehicle. After the accident, the airport required airport beacons to be placed on the top most portion of the vehicle and to be operational both day and night while that vehicle operates on the ramp, taxiway, runway, or any other areas that an aircraft may operate.
Examination of the airplane’s wingtip light bulbs revealed that the filaments were stretched, indicating that the lights were on at the time of the accident. Examination of the beacon and navigation light bulbs did not reveal any information about their operational status at the time of the accident.
It could not be determined if the driver or pilot announced their intentions over the airport common traffic advisory frequency. A handheld radio was located on the vehicle’s dashboard; however, it was found in the “off” position. When the radio was placed in the “on” position and the correct frequency was set, the radio transmitted and received with no anomalies noted. Although the airplane was close to or perhaps past liftoff speed, the pilot likely could have stopped the airplane on the remaining 3,600-feet of paved runway following the impact with the vehicle. However, the pilot did not discontinue the takeoff.

Probable Cause: The vehicle driver's failure to verify that the runway was not occupied by an airplane before crossing the runway, which resulted in the vehicle being struck by a departing airplane, and the pilot's continued takeoff with flight control damage, which subsequently resulted in an aerodynamic stall and spin at low altitude.


FAA register:

Revision history:

17-Nov-2012 03:11 gerard57 Added
19-Nov-2012 22:24 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-May-2014 16:51 Geno Updated [Time, Location, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2017 13:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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