Saturday, October 20, 2018

Cessna 180, registered to and operated by the pilot, N4683B: Accident occurred July 09, 2017 near Baker City Municipal Airport (KBKE), Baker County, Oregon

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

https://registry.faa.gov/N4683B

Location: Baker City, OR
Accident Number: WPR17LA147
Date & Time: 07/09/2017, 0630 PDT
Registration: N4683B
Aircraft: CESSNA 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On July 9, 2017, about 0630 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180 airplane, N4683B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Baker City Municipal Airport (BKE), Baker City, Oregon. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal cross country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Johnson Creek Airstrip (3U2), Yellow Pine, Idaho, about 0630 mountain daylight time and was destined for Red Bluff Municipal Airport (RBL), Red Bluff, California; BKE was a planned en route refueling stop.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that two days prior to the accident he and his passenger flew from Grants Pass, Oregon, to 3U2. The pilot stated that en route to 3U2 he stopped in McCall, Idaho, where he observed that the fuel totalizer read 30 gallons. He then added 26 gallons of fuel, which to his calculation indicated that he had 56 gallons of fuel on board, and set the totalizer to 50 gallons to allow for the unusable fuel; he subsequently made the 26-minute flight to 3U2. The pilot reported that the following morning, he flew to various airstrips in the backcountry, logging 1.6 [hours] tach time; the pilot stated that the fuel totalizer read 26.5 gallons when he landed at 3U2.

The next morning the pilot stated that he and his passenger departed 3U2 for the 97 nautical mile (nm) flight to BKE. About 45 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of 3,000 ft above ground level and 5 nm east of BKE, and while setting up for a left downwind for runway 17, the engine lost power. The pilot stated that he then set up for a straight-in approach to runway 26, checked that the fuel selector was on BOTH, and surmised that the airplane was out of fuel. Initially thinking that he could easily make the runway, the pilot did not consider an alternate landing spot. Subsequently, when it became apparent that he was not going to make the runway, the pilot was forced to land in a hay field with irrigation ditches in his path. After having touched down the airplane dropped into a ditch and was substantially damaged; the airplane came to rest upright about 200 yards east of runway 26. The pilot mentioned that at the time of the accident the fuel totalizer indicated 14 gallons; however, it appeared the airplane was out of fuel. The pilot also commented in his statement that there had been talk of the Monarch Fuel Caps, which were installed on the accident airplane, that if they were not installed correctly with the chain and ball, that fuel will vent overboard. The pilot concluded by saying, "Ultimately, I am responsible for how much fuel is in the tanks, but I can't help thinking that there were contributing factors."

In a report submitted to the NTSB IIC, a Federal Aviation Administration operations inspector assigned to the Boise Flight Standards District Office, Boise Idaho, responded to the accident site. The inspector reported that the pilot admitted to him that he had run out of fuel after he asked the pilot if he could see the data card from the Garmin 530. The inspector further reported that when he asked the pilot what the fuel gauges were reading just before the engine failure, the pilot replied that the right [gauge] was in the red and that the left gauge read 3/8. The inspector also reported that during his onsite inspection of the airplane, he did not observe any fuel streaking stains on the top of either fuel tank. Additionally, the inspector reported that when recovery personnel drained fuel from both tanks, well under a gallon was drained from the left fuel tank, and under 5 gallons from the right fuel tank.

The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/23/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/02/2016
Flight Time:  5692 hours (Total, all aircraft), 151 hours (Total, this make and model), 5600 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 100 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 86 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N4683B
Model/Series: 180 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1955
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 31581
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/05/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 9 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3609 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-470K SERIES
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 230 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BKE, 3373 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0653 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 210°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Yellow Pine, ID (3U2)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Baker City, OR (BKE)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0640 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Baker City Municipal (BKE)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3373 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 26
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3670 ft / 140 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  44.835556, -117.798333

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 09, 2017 in Baker City, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N4683B
Injuries: 2 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 July 9, 2017, about 0630 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180, N4683B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near the Baker City Municipal Airport (BKE), Baker, Oregon. The certificated commercial pilot and sole passenger were not injured. The personal cross-country flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight departed Johnson Creek Airstrip (3U2), Yellow Pine, Idaho, about 0630 mountain daylight time, with the destination being Red Bluff Municipal Airport (RBL), Red Bluff, California; BKE was a planned en route refueling stop.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that while he was on the 45-degree entry for a left downwind approach to runway 17, the engine quit without warning. The pilot stated that he then made an emergency descent in an attempt to land on runway 26, however, he landed about 100 yards short in a hay field. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, both door posts, and both wing struts. The pilot reported that prior to the engine quitting, the fuel selector was selected to the BOTH position. He added that at the time of the event the fuel totalizer indicated 14 gallons.

The airplane will be recovered to a secured location for further examination.

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