Friday, May 04, 2018

Cessna 182P, N9346G: Accident occurred September 27, 2017 near Brown Field Municipal Airport (KSDM), Otay Mesa, San Diego County, California

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: San Diego, CA
Accident Number: GAA17CA559
Date & Time: 09/27/2017, 0235 PDT
Registration: N9346G
Aircraft: CESSNA 182
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Controlled flight into terr/obj (CFIT)
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that he took off in dark night conditions and was using flight following. When he arrived at the destination airport, he activated the runway lights while entering the downwind leg. While on final approach the runway lights suddenly turned off, so he aborted the landing. The pilot again activated the runway lights on the downwind leg, but this time he flew a short base leg to final. The airplane was at a lower altitude for the approach and suddenly entered a heavy band of fog. The left wing subsequently hit the soft dirt, cartwheeled and came to rest inverted about ¼ mile short of runway 26.

A postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage.

The weather conditions reported at the airport, about the time of the accident, was calm wind, visibility 4 statute miles, moderate mist, scattered 100 ft, temperature 15°C, dew point 15°C, and an altimeter setting 29.24 inches of mercury.

The pilot did not submit the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident /Incident Report Form 6120.1. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
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: Unknown Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/04/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 796 hours (Total, all aircraft), 754 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N9346G
Model/Series: 182 P
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1971
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18260886
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2348 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
Engine Model/Series: O-470 SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSDM, 525 ft msl
Observation Time: 0932 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 212°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 100 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 15°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 4 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.84 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Mist
Departure Point: COMPTON, CA (CPM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: San Diego, CA (SDM)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time:
Type of Airspace: Class D 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 526 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.570833, -116.964167 (est)

A pilot described the terrifying moments before his small plane crash landed at Brown Field south of San Diego on September 27, 2017.

Phillip Lojas had two passengers on the Cessna 182 traveling from Compton when the plane flipped twice before landing.

"Suddenly we didn't see the lights. The fog was too thick. We lost control of it and we crashed," Lojas said. 

The plane attempted to land in heavy fog just after 3 a.m. at the airfield just north of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Lojas said the plane suffered serious damage. 

One passenger suffered a cut to his forehead.

Lojas said he is relieved they were able to survive the landing.

"We're here. By the grace of God. We're here," Lojas said. 

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