Saturday, February 10, 2018

Cessna 177RG Cardinal, N8053G: Accident occurred August 21, 2017 near Byron Airport (C83), Contra Costa County, California

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Byron, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA505
Date & Time: 08/21/2017, 2000 PDT
Registration: N8053G
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot, he was flying a 400-nautical mile cross-county flight.

He reported that the outside air temperature along the route had been hot. He recalled that the engine temperature had been high and, "I increased the mixture to cool the engine down multiple times."

As he approached his destination, the engine began "coughing for 3-4 minutes" before the engine stopped. He attempted to land at the destination airport, but unable to reach the airport, made a forced landing in a mud filled drainage channel, about .5 miles north of the airport.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage and windscreen.

A Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector examined the airplane's fuel system at the accident site. He reported that both fuel tanks were found empty, with about ½ cup of fuel at the bottom of the left tank, after removing the sump drain.

Per the National Transportation Safety Board's Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented with the, "Use of [a] fuel dipstick for better measurement of fuel quantity".

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. 


Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)
Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Off-field or emergency landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 39, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/16/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/15/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 360 hours (Total, all aircraft), 11 hours (Total, this make and model), 290 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N8053G
Model/Series: 177RG NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 177RG0053
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/12/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3907.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:  Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1B6
Registered Owner: TOBIN JEFFREY D
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: Squadron 2 Acquisition Corp
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: Squadron 2
Operator Designator Code: 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: LVK, 94550 ft msl
Observation Time: 2353 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 200°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 14°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 16 knots, 280°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Burns, OR (KBNO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: San Jose, CA (KRHV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1625 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: BYRON (C83)
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 79 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Wet
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude:  37.504444, -121.385278 (est)

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