Accident Cessna 140 N3160N, Saturday 9 January 2010
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Date:Saturday 9 January 2010
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
MSN: 13418
Total airframe hrs:2139 hours
Engine model:Teledyne Continental C85
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
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
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
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 pilot’s inadequate weather evaluation and failure to maintain clearance from trees while maneuvering in low visibility conditions.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR10CA106
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

7 July 1991 N3160N Private 0 Montague, CA sub


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]

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