Cessna stalls on approach

Aircraft: Cessna 340A. Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious. Location: Ocala, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: On the accident flight the 1,005-hour pilot was cleared to land and entered the left downwind leg of the traffic pattern to land to the north. A surface wind from the west prevailed with gusts to 15 knots. Radar data revealed that the airplane was on final approach, about 1.16 miles from the runway at an altitude of about 210 feet AGL. The airplane then crashed in a pasture south of the airport, in a slight left-wing-low attitude and burned.

The pilot’s wife, who was in the aft cabin and survived the accident, recalled that it was choppy and that they descended quickly. She recalled hearing two distinct warning horns in the cockpit prior to the crash. The airplane was equipped with two aural warning systems in the cockpit, a landing gear warning horn and a stall warning horn.

Investigators determined that the pilot likely allowed the airspeed to decay while aligning the airplane on final approach and allowed the airplane to descend below a normal glide path.

Examination of the wreckage revealed that the landing gear were in transit toward the retracted position at impact, indicating that the pilot was attempting to execute a go-around before the accident. The pilot made no distress calls to air traffic controllers before the crash.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and altitude on final approach, resulting in an impact with terrain short of the airport.

NTSB Identification: ERA12FA161

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. J.babb says

    I think he forgot his gear,was trying to lower it at last minute and stalled,hence the warning horns,,only if he had just balked the landing,gave it and his,and her life another chance..time,everyone needs to remember,if we have it,USE it……TIME. Im truly sorry!

  2. Ray says

    People, as pilots I like to think that we aspire to rise above. Stop the callous, snarkey comments! I had to check that I was’nt reading Huff-Post.

    • Tom says

      You can say that our comments are snarkey,
      But reason dictates we’re right,
      The FAA’s unreasonable policy,
      Stiffles our freedom of flight.

  3. John Wesley says

    And if the time comes, that the powers that be at the FAA capitulate and allow medically unfit individuals to fly without benefit of a medical exam, what will Mooney use as an excuse for the absolutely stupid, misguided,asinine, actions of pilots like the one here????

    • RudyH says

      And John that’s precisely what they would be caving in to. We know how dubious it is that a safe majority of aviators, AS WE ALL ARE NOT DOCTORS, would self-police in matters of fitness to fly. They need to extend the 3rd class validity period to 4 or 5 years for under 45 aged flyers. You’ve appeased the FAA, AME’s still make money, and pilots fly on. Irresponsibility and safety liabilities must not be allowed to take precendence over medical fitness during flight…….

  4. vaughn price says

    Well said Mooney!! But do you think FAA will wake up and quit throwing road blocks for Pilots to try to conform with?

  5. Mooney says

    Another horrible case where the dollars spent on medical certification would have been far better spent on flight training. Mark this up to inhumane FAA policy.

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