ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 71293
Last updated: 14 August 2020
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Type:Silhouette image of generic C140 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 140
Owner/operator:Samuel D McGowan
Registration: N3160N
C/n / msn: 13418
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:North of Ranchaero Airport, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Chico, CA (O23)
Destination airport:Willows, CA (WLW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
About an hour prior to the flight the pilot checked the surface observation report for the nearest airport, which was about 5 miles to the northeast. He stated that it indicated an indefinite ceiling of 200 feet and visibility of 3 miles with fog and ground fog. An aviation routine weather report (METAR) for the same airport was issued at the approximate time of the accident and reported, in part, winds from 130 degrees at 5 knots, visibility of 1 3/4 miles with mist, and skies with a 200-foot indefinite ceiling. The pilot stated that the visibility was good on the ground. As the airplane took off and climbed, he realized that the visibility went to zero. He turned around, attempting to get back to the airport, and he descended to get low enough under the fog to see the airport. There were trees on the east side of the airport, and he tried to stay above them while looking for the runway. He was on left downwind for runway 14 and turning base when the right wing hit a branch and the airplane subsequently impacted the ground. The right wing and empennage sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported no mechanical problems with the airplane or engine.
Probable Cause: The pilotís inadequate weather evaluation and failure to maintain clearance from trees while maneuvering in low visibility conditions.



Revision history:

09-Jan-2010 20:01 RobertMB Added
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 12:31 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description