FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Orlando FSDO-15
NTSB Identification: ERA17LA024
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 19, 2016 in Cedar Key, FL
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N1827Y
Injuries: 2 Minor, 1 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 19, 2016, about 0725 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172C, N1827Y, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain, during an attempt to return to the airport immediately after takeoff, in Cedar Key, Florida. The pilot was not injured, the two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was privately owned, and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight departed the George T. Lewis Airport (CDK), Cedar Key, Florida.
According to the pilot, during takeoff from runway 05, the airplane "wasn't climbing" as he attempted to climb "out of ground effect." At an altitude of about 100 feet above ground level, he attempted to turn around and land on runway 23. The airplane then descended and impacted a swamp about 600 feet short of the runway. The pilot indicated that the engine sounded normal, and there were no issues with the airplane other than the climb performance.
The pilot reported that the fuel tanks were nearly full, as the airplane flew one flight leg (about 20 minutes long) since the last full fueling. The airplane was equipped with an 18-gallon auxiliary fuel tank that was installed in the baggage compartment, which was also full. According to first responders, there was an estimated 25 pounds of baggage found in the unoccupied rear seat.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot's certificate status was "revoked." He had held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single and multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held private pilot certificate privileges for airplane single engine sea. His most recent third-class medical certificate was issued in January 2009, at which time he reported a total of 1,800 flight hours of experience.
Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest upright and partially submerged in shallow water. The outboard 3 feet of both wingtips were crushed aft and bent upwards. Both ailerons were damaged. The fuselage was buckled on the right side in the area of the cabin door, and the firewall was damaged. The airplane was further damaged during the recovery operation due to being submerged in water. The engine was rotated by hand via the propeller, and compression was confirmed on all cylinders with the exception of No. 4. Valve action was observed on all rocker arms, however the exhaust valve on the No. 4 cylinder was found stuck in the open position. The top spark plugs were removed. Their electrodes were intact, and slightly corroded with surface rust consistent with water immersion.