Casper/Natrona County Airport is not windy all year round. But it can be in the fall and close to spring.

The airplane shown below had already landed and was trying to taxi in from the runways. That's when it was flipped.

So, what happened?

We can now listen to crash audio between the pilot and the tower.

Flight Records is a YouTube page that seeks out incidents like this and publishes the audio for the general public to hear.

Scroll to the: 40-second mark in this video to hear the beginning of what happened.

The winds were not just heavy and gusty, but crosswinds were on either runway. The tower asks the pilot which runway he would prefer, knowing that there really wasn't a good answer for such a light plane on a day like this.

The pilot requests runway 21 as his best option.

While the Cessna is working its approach a much bigger passenger airliner, on the ground, is reporting problems with the wind and the ground crew.

The tower then updates the Cessna with a windcheck.

Winds 230 at 39 gusting to 49. (Tower).

A Cessna 172N model is only rated for 15knot crosswinds. This pilot is pushing way beyond the limits.

Moments before landing the tower calls out to the Cessna.

Winds 230 at 43 gusting to 49. (Tower).

That's even worse.

Scenery of the flying small plane in the blue sky

Despite this, the pilot manages a good landing. The controller is impressed.

November Nine Uniform Eco, nicely done sir. That was, uh, pretty impressive.

The tower then gives taxi instructions to the hangers.

Turn left, Alpha 6. Taxi Parking via Alpha (Tower).

But it's not over. The pilot now needs to make a left turn, putting his wing in an even more dangerous position to the wind.

The wind is now coming from the side of the airplane and pushing up from under the wing that is into the wind.

At 3:36 in the video, the plane flips.

The controller is looking the other way, talking to that jetliner that is still having problems.

A call comes from someone over the radio.


A second call came in by radio to Casper Ground Control informing them of the crash and advising them to send rescue out.

But those in the tower had seen the flip and were already working on the problem.

We got them. We got them. (Tower).

The tower calls out rescue and then calls to the pilot.

attachment-Plane Crash Casper

After several failed attempts to call the pilot tower reports to rescue that he sees that the pilot was able to get out of the plane.

The pilot is okay.

The wing and rudder of the plane are a mess.

Planes like this are just small, light 4-seaters.

They are not meant to be out in winds like this.

attachment-Plane Crash Casper 2

On the ground, a pilot steers with his feet. The bottom of the peddles steer the nose gear and the rudder. The tops of the peddles are breaks for the left and right tire.

The pilot would have turned the yoke toward the wind so the aileron, which controls banking, would push the wing down.

This is an attempt to make the wing dive down during a strong gust, rather than lift up.

But even if the pilot is doing everything correctly it's hard to stop gusts like these from flipping such a light plane.

Bigger commercial planes weigh much more and, while they might get rocked around a bit, are not so prone to flipping.

Photo By Sara Knox (courtesy)
Photo By Sara Knox (courtesy)

The plane tail identifier is N739UE. The plane is registered to AMERICAN PATROLS INC. Midland Texas.


Wyoming's Best Pilots Astound At The Glendo Fly-In 2021

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

Local Pilots Give Wyoming Kids A Free Flight

Does your kid want to be a pilot?

There is no way of knowing unless they get a chance to get in an airplane and get up there.

Thanks to a Wyoming chapter of EAA, (Experimental Aircraft Association), kids in Wheatland Wyoming got that chance this past weekend.

Local pilots offered free rides to all kids, breakfast included.

The hope is that maybe some of these kids will get that urge to want to fly and pursue a career as a pilot.

America needs more pilots.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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