Sunday, March 31, 2019

Cessna 182F Skylane, skydiving flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N3291U: Accident occurred May 08, 2018 near The Carter Memorial Airport (T91), Luling, Caldwell County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Luling, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA163
Date & Time: 05/08/2018, 1500 CDT
Registration: N3291U
Aircraft: CESSNA 182F
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 3 Minor, 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Skydiving 

On May 8, 2018, about 1500 central daylight time, a Cessna 182F airplane, N3291U, impacted a field 0.3 miles southeast of the airport shortly after takeoff from The Carter Memorial Airport (T91), Luling, Texas. The commercial pilot and 2 passengers sustained minor injuries, and 2 passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The skydiving 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 local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to statements from the pilot and the passengers, shortly after the airplane rotated, the passengers noticed that fuel was leaking from the left wing. The passengers brought it to the attention of the pilot. The pilot perceived the leak as an immediate fire risk and felt it was necessary to perform an off-airport landing. The pilot abruptly lowered the nose of the airplane and landed in a field.

According to the FAA inspector who responded to the accident, during the forced landing to the field the airplane hit the ground in a left-wing low attitude and then hit a berm. The airplane came to rest in a field to the southeast of the departure end of runway 17. The engine and the right main landing gear separated during the impact sequence. Both the left and right wings were substantially damaged. The left-wing fuel tank cap was dangling by the chain and was not secured. There were no issues or anomalies with the left fuel cap or left-wing fuel tank filler inlet and the left fuel cap was able to be securely installed at the time of the examination. An examination of the airframe, engine, and remaining systems revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operations.

The pilot had fueled the airplane before the accident flight. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 26
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/13/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  325 hours (Total, all aircraft), 34 hours (Total, this make and model), 259 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 61 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 31 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N3291U
Model/Series: 182F F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1963
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 18254691
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/18/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5622 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-470-D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 0 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: KHYI, 594 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2015 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 314°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 200 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 160°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 14°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Luling, TX (T91)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Luling, TX (T91)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1500 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: The Carter Memorial Airport (T91)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 475 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Minor, 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Minor, 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 29.723611, -97.659167 (est)


Anonymous said...

Hard landing? Looks a bit more like a crash to me.

Anonymous said...

Another "classic" bites the dust. The day is quickly approaching when they'll all be used up and we'll have to fly light sports, RV's & Cirrus's.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have taken my chances and flown the pattern back to a normal landing, topped the tank off, secured the fuel cap and been on my way. The chance of a post-crash fire was greatly increased especially due to the "hard" landing that ripped the engine out of the plane. Glad everyone was alright other than the plane.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the three skydivers were aware of pilot experience? You need to check out these operations, pilots, and gear, before agreeing to participate in this type of activity and getting into the plane. All were very lucky. I know of another operation who has trouble finding pilots to fly these risky flights. They operate on a shoestring. There is a ton of responsibility placed on these willing aviators trying to build hours.

Anonymous said...

As a pilot in command, he should have visually checked the fuel level and the fuel caps prior to departure. NEVER trust other to do things for you UNLESS you verify that it was done properly. Luckily the outcome wasn't worse.

Anonymous said...

This is actually something that happens more often than folks might think (leaving the cap off).

The pilot should have returned for a normal landing. No reason to ditch it unless you see actual fire.