This May 2007 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.
Aircraft: Cessna 182.
Location: Traer, Iowa.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot became lost during the flight. He established a heading he believed would take him to his planned intermediate fuel stop and made several attempts to contact ATC for assistance. He became concerned about his remaining fuel. After numerous attempts he was able to make contact with a Flight Service Station. He informed them that he was “lost and short on fuel.” The FSS provided vectors to a nearby airport that had a grass runway. The pilot had no experience on grass runways.
He told investigators that when the airplane touched down it began to skid. He attempted to bring the airplane to a stop but wasn’t able to do so before it hit a traffic cone that marked the end of the runway. The airplane continued into an irrigation ditch that was off the end of the runway.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during landing on the grass airstrip. The pilot’s getting lost, poor fuel management and lack of experience on grass runways were factors.
For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20070622X00780&ntsbno=CHI07CA136&akey=1.