Saturday, March 30, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Cessna 180, N2485C, accident occurred March 31, 2018 in Grove, Delaware County, Oklahoma

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

Additional Participating Entity

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Grove, OK
Accident Number: CEN18LA131
Date & Time: 03/31/2018, 0815 CDT
Registration: N2485C
Aircraft: CESSNA 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The airline transport pilot reported that, while in cruise flight, the engine "coughed once, then died." The pilot attempted to restore power without success, then performed a forced landing to a rodeo arena. The pilot also stated that he did not apply carburetor heat following the loss of engine power. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A review of the recorded weather information in the area indicated that the atmospheric conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to the accumulation of serious icing at any power setting. The total loss of engine power was likely due to an accumulation of carburetor ice. Had the pilot immediately applied carburetor heat, it is possible that it would have cleared the ice and restored engine power. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power due to carburetor ice accumulation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's failure to apply carburetor heat immediately following the loss of engine power.


Intake anti-ice, deice - Not used/operated (Cause)
Intake anti-ice, deice - Related operating info (Factor)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Conducive to carburetor icing - Effect on equipment (Cause)

Factual Information

On March 31, 2018, about 0815 central daylight time, a Cessna 180 airplane, N2485C, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Grove, Oklahoma. The airline transport pilot was not injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The flight departed Circle S Farms Airport (AR91), Lowell, Arkansas, about 0800, and was en route to Grove Municipal Airport (KGMJ), Grove, Oklahoma.

According to the pilot, he departed AR91 and was en route to KGMJ to purchase fuel. While en route the engine quit producing power. During a forced landing to a rodeo arena, both wings, the empennage, and the fuselage were substantially damaged.

An examination of the airplane, including the engine and fuel system, revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The closest routine aviation weather report, taken at 0815, recorded a temperature of 54°F and a dewpoint temperature of 41°F. A review of the carburetor icing probability chart, located in the Federal Aviation Administration's Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-09-35, dated June 30, 2009, revealed that the airplane was operating in an area favorable for the formation of serious carburetor icing at any power setting. 

History of Flight

Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)

Fuel related
Other weather encounter

Landing-landing roll
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial; Flight Engineer
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; 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 Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 11/06/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/19/2017
Flight Time: 21327 hours (Total, all aircraft), 124.3 hours (Total, this make and model), 11250 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 112.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 41.3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N2485C
Model/Series: 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30785
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/15/2018
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2777.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O470-J
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 225 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: KGMJ, 830 ft msl
Observation Time: 0815 CDT
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 12000 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / 5°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 170°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lowell, AR (AR91)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Grove, OK (KGMJ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 36.608056, -94.728056 (est)

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