Serious incident Cessna F172M Skyhawk G-MOFO,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 280387
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Date:Sunday 9 January 2022
Time:19:47 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna F172M Skyhawk
Owner/operator:Northumbria Aerospace Ltd
Registration: G-MOFO
MSN: 172-1192
Year of manufacture:1974
Engine model:Lycoming O-320-E2D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:A1 Road, near Newcastle Airport, Woolsington, Newcastle-upon-Tyne -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Newcastle Airport (NCL/EGNT)
Destination airport:Newcastle Airport (NCL/EGNT)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Reims Cessna F172M G-MOFO was involved in a serious incident on 9 January 2022 when the pilot, undertaking a VMC night solo training flight, descended in a mistaken attempt to land on the main A1 road south east of Newcastle Airport, Woolsington, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne & Wear. The aircraft descended to 200 amsl before the error was realised. The aircraft climbed, completed a circuit, and then landed normally at Newcastle Airport. It appears that the pilot confused the road lights on the A1 road with the landing lights at Newcastle.

According to the AAIB Summary into the incident (see link #1): "AAIB investigation to Reims Cessna F172M, G-MOFO. Inadvertent descent during night VMC flight, Newcastle International Airport, 9 January 2022.

The incident flight was the pilot’s first night solo during a Night Rating course. While downwind for a right-hand circuit, the pilot lost sight of the runway, misidentified lights from the nearby A1 dual carriageway and drifted off course to the south. While attempting to reacquire the runway lights he inadvertently allowed the aircraft to descend.

On realising he was lower than intended the pilot initiated a climb. Coincident with this, Newcastle ATC called for the pilot to climb when they saw the aircraft’s transponder Mode C altitude reducing toward 500 ft. Ground elevation in the area of the descent was approximately 200 ft amsl.

Once safely level, the pilot turned back toward the airfield. With assistance from Newcastle nATC, he regained visual contact with the runway and landed from an abbreviated left-hand circuit.

After a “debrief and a long ground brief on Newcastle features and radio procedures,” the pilot’s instructor cleared the pilot to continue his night-flying training.

=AAIB comment=
The pilot’s inadvertent descent highlights the increased risk from distraction, in this case looking for the runway lights, in situations where external visual cues are reduced".

G-MOFO is ex-HB-CYT (Swiss Registry, first Swiss registered 7 June 2002); first registered in the UK as G-MOFO on 17 August 2021

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: AAIB-27956
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 6 months
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB Final Report:

Revision history:

14-Jul-2022 19:27 Dr. John Smith Added
15-Jul-2022 06:25 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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