Accident Cessna 182D Skylane N9021X, Monday 2 October 2017
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Date:Monday 2 October 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic C182 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 182D Skylane
Registration: N9021X
MSN: 18253421
Year of manufacture:1961
Engine model:Continental O-470-L
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Aeropuerto de Isla Grande (TJIG), San Juan -   Puerto Rico
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Charlotte Amali, VI (STT)
Destination airport:San Juan-Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (SIG/TJIG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The private pilot and pilot-rated passenger were approaching the airport for landing during a personal flight; the tower controller cleared the airplane to land behind a flight of two Blackhawk helicopters. The passenger reported that he and the pilot visually acquired the helicopters and were instructed by the controller to perform s-turns for spacing during final approach. As the airplane crossed the runway threshold, the passenger noted that the helicopters were clearing the runway. The airplane then encountered a "heavy downdraft" followed by a "burst" that pitched the airplane to the left. The pilot subsequently initiated a go-around, during which the airplane encountered another "burst," pitched up, rolled inverted, and collided with the ground between the runway and taxiway. The passenger reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane and that the engine was performing normally. The pilot died in the hospital the day after the accident.

Although the controller cleared the airplane for landing following the helicopters, Federal Aviation Administration guidance on wake turbulence avoidance states that, if a pilot accepts a clearance to visually follow a preceding aircraft, the pilot accepts responsibility for both separation and wake turbulence avoidance. The circumstances of the accident are consistent with the airplane encountering wake turbulence from the landing helicopters, and it is likely that, had the pilot maintained greater separation from the helicopters or conducted a go-around earlier, the airplane would not have encountered the wake vortices that resulted in the loss of control.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate distance from helicopters during the approach for landing, resulting in an encounter with wake turbulence and subsequent loss of control.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA18LA002
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Download report: Final report


FAA register:



Revision history:

02-Oct-2017 17:25 gerard57 Added
02-Oct-2017 17:26 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn]
02-Oct-2017 17:34 gerard57 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Source, Damage, Narrative]
02-Oct-2017 17:36 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Source]
02-Oct-2017 21:23 Geno Updated [Location, Destination airport, Source]
04-Oct-2017 09:33 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
05-Oct-2017 15:39 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Narrative]
15-Jul-2019 18:02 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]
15-Jul-2019 18:32 harro Updated [Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Jul-2019 18:33 harro Updated [Source, Accident report, ]

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