Adios Six Four Romeo

Home Learning to Fly Flagstaff/Sedona Is General Aviation Safe To Catalina! The First Solo Adios Six Four Romeo



RIP: Jan 26, 2002

She was a Cessna-172, a nice and elegant bird bearing the registration N5264R, also known as Six-Four-Romeo. She was the first mechanical temptress to steal my heart.

There was nothing wonderful about 64R, she was a well worn, 1975 built, standard Cessna 172 with a 150HP Lycoming engine. Like most other Cessna 172's she flew well, handled well and was quite fun to fly. With just me in the plane it would shoot up on takeoff with aplomb, climbing up on a cool day at over 1000 feet/min. The airframe was slippery and the controls were light and responsive. 

Load her up with a few adults and soon she would be at the maximum gross weight. Her demeanor changed. Pull up the yoke to go up, and you could hear her groan (like my kid) "Do I have to really do that?". Slowly she would rise and the rate of climb barely registered on the VSI.

64R was the first aircraft I flew for fun. Took her to Flagstaff when Avi wanted to see snow. Took her to Sedona just for larks. Took her flying with my flying buddies. Took her to San Diego -- my first really long cross country. Took her to Catalina and landed at the airport in the sky.

64R had no recorded accident record with the NTSB, till one nice and lovely day, Jan 26, 2002. The sun was bright, the sky was clear, the air was cool. 64R was on her final approach to Payson Municipal Airport. A gust of wind and poor recovery by the pilot ended the long safe career of 64R. (Thankfully, No one was seriously hurt).

She is, and will be missed.


From the files of the NTSB....

(All airplane accidents and incidents are investigated by the NTSB. The following report is from the NTSB site )

On January 26, 2002, about 0915 hours mountain standard time, a Cessna 172M, N5264R, veered off the runway and nosed over during landing at the Payson Airport, Payson, Arizona. The airplane, operated by AZ Cloud Busters Flying Club and rented by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured; a third passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed the Stellar Airpark Airport, Chandler, Arizona, about 0845 the morning of the accident.

An automated weather observation system (AWOS) at the airport reported weather at the time of the accident as winds variable from 060 degrees to 140 degrees at 5-6 knots, gusting to 7 knots.

The Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that he made a 45-degree entry for runway 24. The weather was clear and the winds were calm. On final he had 30 degrees of flaps selected and flared over the runway at 60 knots for touchdown. About 5-10 feet above ground level (agl) the airplane encountered a gust of wind from the south. The pilot lowered the nose to a level flight position, advanced the throttle, pushed in the carburetor heat, and raised the flaps in an attempt to abort the landing. He noted that the airspeed increased slightly and then the airplane "hit the ground." The pilot stated that the airplane veered off the runway and nosed over to inverted after the nose landing gear sheared off and the strut dug into the ground.