Sunday, July 14, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Cessna 188 AgWagon, N5523S; accident occurred August 02, 2018 in Watkins, Minnesota

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Watkins, MN
Accident Number: CEN18LA311
Date & Time: 08/02/2018, 1035 CDT
Registration: N5523S
Aircraft: Cessna 188
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural 

On August 2, 2018, about 1035 central daylight time, a Cessna 188 airplane, N5523S, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a partial loss of engine power near Watkins, Minnesota. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by Classic Arrow Inc. as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 agricultural application flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Litchfield Municipal Airport (LJF), Litchfield, Minnesota, about 0945.

The pilot reported that the airplane was fully fueled before the flight. After takeoff, he flew about 20 minutes to the field to be sprayed. He proceeded to survey for hazards and completed a few spray passes. He subsequently noted a loss of engine speed (rpm) after completing an application pass. He pushed the propeller control forward in an attempt to increase the engine/propeller speed which was successful for a short period of time. However, the engine speed began to decrease again, and he observed a decrease in oil pressure combined with an increase in the oil temperature. He moved all engine controls – throttle, propeller, and mixture – full forward. As he returned for a forced landing to the corn field being sprayed, the oil pressure was about 7 psi. As the airplane came over the field, the engine was "coughing." After impacting the corn, the airplane "angled up on the nose" before coming to rest. He recalled the weather conditions as "very good," with a light wind, clear sky, and more than 10 miles visibility.

The pilot informed a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that the loss of engine power was not catastrophic in nature. Rather, the pilot observed the oil pressure dropping with the oil temperature rising and decided to pull the mixture to shut the engine off. He subsequently landed in the corn field just below the airplane.

The FAA inspector reported that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. Postaccident airframe and engine examinations conducted by the inspector revealed no anomalies that could be attributed to a preimpact failure or malfunction. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 21, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
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 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/11/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  566 hours (Total, all aircraft), 124 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N5523S
Model/Series: 188 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 188-0023
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 02/14/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2700 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: O-470-R
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 230 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)
Operator Does Business As: Classic Arrow Inc.
Operator Designator Code: 6MTG 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: LJF, 1140 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1035 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 200°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3300 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 70°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Litchfield, MN (LJF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Litchfield, MN (LJF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0945 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Litchfield Muni (LJF)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 1140 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

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: 46.814167, -94.408611 (est)

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