At All Times, Take-Off, Aborted Landing, Go-Around --
Whatever... FLY THE AIRPLANE!
A tragic NTSB prelim is giving us a few clues as to what caused
the loss of four lives on the First of June -- a pilot in a rented
Skyhawk encountered squirrelly winds, had problems with a landing,
started going around and apparently lost control of the airplane at
low altitude, with fatal results for all on board. I don't have to
tell you all how unnecessary this was... Still, it is incredibly
NTSB Identification: WPR11FA242
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 01, 2011 in Wendover, UT
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: N475ER
Injuries: 4 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On June 1, 2011, at 1433 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172R,
N475ER, while executing a go-around, entered a rapid vertical
descent and collided with the ground at the Wendover Airport,
Wendover, Utah. The airplane was registered to G&B Investment
Management, Inc., which operated it as a rental airplane. The
private pilot operated the rental airplane under the provisions of
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The pilot and three
passengers were fatally injured, and the airplane was substantially
damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual
flight plan had not been filed. The flight originated from St.
The pilot rented the airplane on May 31st to fly himself and
three passengers to St. George for business purposes. The flight
departed from Skypark Airport, Bountiful, Utah, where the airplane
is based. Skypark Airport was scheduled to be closed for 2 days,
June 1-2, for runway maintenance. Family members of the pilot
stated to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials that the
pilot and his passengers were to return by flying from St. George
to Provo, Utah, on Tuesday, June 1st. Provo Municipal Airport is
about 45 miles south of Bountiful.
Initial information from Air Traffic Control (ATC) was that the
pilot requested navigational assistance, and was directed to the
Wendover Airport. A witness who was working on the air field stated
that he heard the pilot say over the radio that his intentions were
to land and get fuel. Multiple witnesses stated that the winds were
very strong from the south, and that they observed the airplane
attempt to land on runway 26. The airplane bounced a couple of
times and had difficulty staying aligned with the runway. It
proceeded to become airborne again, and crabbed into the wind as it
gained altitude, climbing to between 150-200 feet. The airplane
then turned to the north, the nose pitched down, and descended
vertically to the ground.
The Wendover airport weather observation system (AWOS) recorded
at 1435, winds from 180 degrees at 24 knots gusting to 28; 10
statute miles visibility; and sky was clear of clouds. Runway 12/30
at Wendover was closed for construction.