Friday, December 28, 2018

Cessna 177A Cardinal, N30309: Accident occurred July 12, 2020 in Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky

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.

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Louisville, Kentucky

Location: Falmouth, KY 
Accident Number: ERA20LA245
Date & Time: July 12, 2020, 12:23 Local
Registration: N30309
Aircraft: Cessna 177
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 12, 2020, about 1223 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177A, N30309, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Falmouth, Kentucky. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot stated that he was repositioning the airplane to the new owner, and as part of his preflight inspection he used a wooden stick that he found in the airplane that was marked with lines and annotated with "5" to determine the fuel level in each fuel tank. Based on the readings, he thought that each fuel tank had about 12.5 gallons of fuel, which was more than enough for the intended flight. After engine start he taxied to the runway where he performed an engine run-up with no discrepancies noted. According to ADS-B data the flight departed at 1128, and proceeded in an east-northeast direction, then a northeast direction. About 40 to 45 minutes into the flight, while flying at 3,000 ft mean sea level, he noticed a slight drop of engine rpm which he thought was carburetor ice. He applied carburetor heat which restored the engine rpm, and about 3 to 4 minutes later, he noted the engine rpm had "quite a bit more rpm decrease, and the engine then quit." He maintained best glide airspeed, and checked the ignition, mixture, and verified the fuel selector was on the both position. He began looking for a place to land and noted there were rolling hills with trees around him. He selected a cow pasture and flew a short right base leg where he extended the flaps. In anticipation of the forced landing he turned off the master switch, cracked open his door, and touched down on downsloping terrain of the pasture. Due to bumpy terrain the airplane bounced. He flared, and then touched down on upsloping terrain. While slowing, the airplane nosed over.

Postaccident examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed no evidence of fuel leakage. The wings were removed and the fuselage was uprighted. No fuel was noted in either wing fuel tank. About 2 ounces and 4 ounces of blue colored fuel consistent with 100 low lead were drained from the carburetor float bowl and airframe fuel strainer, respectively. No water contamination was noted. The airplane was recovered for operational testing of the engine assembly. Five days after the accident the Federal Aviation Administration inspector revisited the accident site and there was no appreciable browning of vegetation beneath the resting position of either wing.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N30309
Model/Series: 177 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FGX, 913 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C /17°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2900 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: 
None Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.87 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Elizabethtown, KY (EKX)
Destination: Batavia, OH (I69)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 38.641666,-84.197776 (est) 

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