Thursday, July 4, 2019

Fuel Starvation: Cessna 172 Skyhawk, N171Q, accident occurred July 24, 2018 near North Cubs Strip (8AK8), Wasilla, Alaska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


http://registry.faa.gov/N171Q 


Location: Meadow Lakes, AK
Accident Number: GAA18CA454
Date & Time: 07/24/2018, 1730 AKD
Registration: N171Q
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The pilot reported that, during the initial climb, the engine experienced a total loss of power. He added that he realized the wrong fuel tank had been selected for takeoff. He subsequently performed a forced landing on a gravel stream bed north of the runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the empennage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's selection of the wrong fuel tank for departure, which resulted in fuel starvation and the subsequent total loss of engine power.

Findings

Aircraft
Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Incorrect use/operation (Cause)

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

Factual Information

History of Flight

Initial climb
Fuel starvation (Defining event)
Loss of engine power (total)

Landing
Off-field or emergency landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 45, 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): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/04/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/31/2018
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 2300 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1225 hours (Total, this make and model), 2260 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 123 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 67 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1.1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N171Q
Model/Series: 172 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1956
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 28197
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/10/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5674 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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: PAWS, 354 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0156 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 130°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 8000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Meadow Lakes, AK (8AK8)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Anchorage, AK (AK12)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1730 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: North Cubs Strip (8AK8)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 350 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 32
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1500 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage:Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.630000, -149.682500 (est)

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