Monday, December 19, 2016

Cessna 182A, N5954B: Accident occurred December 19, 2016 near Apple Valley Airport (KAPV), San Bernardino County, California

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA098
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 18, 2016 in Apple Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N5954B
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the single-engine airplane reported that, after traveling about 270 nautical miles (nm) to the destination airport, the pilot-controlled lighting would not illuminate when activated. The pilot diverted to an alternate airport that was 40 nm to the northeast, but the pilot reported that runway lighting was not available at the alternate airport. The pilot reported that he decided to fly about 70 nm southwest to another alternate airport, but the engine quit even though the fuel indicator showed that 1/4 tank of fuel remained. He reported that he entered a descending left turn, that he leveled the wings with no flaps, and that the airspeed was about 52 kts. The pilot recalled that the airplane landed hard and nosed over after the nose landing gear and propeller struck a berm. Substantial damage was sustained to both wings, the firewall, and empennage.

During the airplane recovery, the fuel selector was photographed in the right wing tank position. The left tank did not have any fuel in the tank, and the right tank contained about 2 cups of fuel.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) avionics inspector present during the examination of the airplane’s radios and antennas, no failures or malfunctions were identified.

According to the FAA Airport Facility Directory, both the destination and diversion airports were equipped with medium intensity runway lighting, and the first airport the pilot diverted from was equipped with precision approach path indicator lights. No NOTAMS pertaining to lighting were issued at these airports on the date of the accident.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s mismanagement of the available fuel, which resulted in a loss of engine power and a subsequent hard, off-airport landing and nose-over. 

APPLE VALLEY --- Apple Valley Protection Fire District Chief Sid Hultquist said a Cessna 182A pilot and his passenger escaped major injuries after an emergency landing caused the aircraft to "flip over" in a remote and rural area Sunday night.

The pilot suffered facial and wrist injuries. His passenger complained of chest discomfort.

Hultquist said firefighters were dispatched to the crash at approximately 7:30 p.m. However, the crash scene was not found by authorities until 50 minutes after receiving the report.

"The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department's helicopter was extremely valuable in finding the crash scene," Hultquist said. "All we knew was the crash was reported somewhere in the desert, northeast of the Apple Valley Airport. It was a very vague description that said the scene was anywhere from three to eight miles northeast of the airport. The pilot and the passenger were unsure where they were and without the helicopter, we probably wouldn't have found the scene because it was in a very remote and rural area that you could not see from the road."

The Cessna was found near Central and Johnson roads, roughly three miles northwest of the airport. But firefighters were met with a new challenge of getting to the scene due to rough terrain.

Hultquist said firefighters were forced to used 4-wheel drive vehicles to get to the scene. An SUV was used to transport both men, in their 60s, to the road, where they were treated by AVFPD firefighters and later transported to St. Mary Medical Center for medical evaluations.

The pilot attempted to make an emergency landing for unknown reasons. The aircraft's front propeller struck a dirt embankment, causing the Cessna to flip upside down.

"Thankfully the plane didn't catch fire and these men were able to exit with moderate injuries," he said. "This could have been a lot worse. We don't know why they tried landing out there. The cause is still under investigation."


APPLE VALLEY, Calif: ( Authorities are investigating what caused a small plane to crash shortly after 7:00 p.m., injuring the pilot and passenger.

A Cessna 182A crashed in a remote area about three miles northeast of the Apple Valley Airport.

Fire Chief of the Apple Valley Fire District Sid Hultquist says with the assistance of the Sheriff’s helicopter they were able to pinpoint the aircraft nearly 50 minutes later.

The helicopter landed next to the upside down plane and Sheriffs discovered both male occupants had exited the plane.

The terrain required a 4-wheel vehicle to transport paramedics to the site in order to access the scene.

The pilot suffered injuries to his wrist and face, while the passenger had minor injuries to his chest. Both were transported to Desert Valley Medical Center for treatment.

“They attempted an emergency landing in the desert area and when the plane landed the propeller hit (the ground), and it flipped it upside down,” Hultquist said.

Almost exactly one year ago, a world-famous aerobatics champion for Red Bull, Michael (Mike) Mangold was killed in a plane crash at the Apple Valley Airport on December 6, 2015.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will be summoned to investigate the crash further.

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