Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (total): Cessna 172F Skyhawk, N7871U; accident occurred October 04, 2019 in Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

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

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


Location: Kaplan, LA
Accident Number: GAA20CA006
Date & Time: 10/04/2019, 1930 CDT
Registration: N7871U
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries:1 Minor 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, at departure, the airplane had 39 gallons of fuel and that, about 1 hour 40 minutes after departure, the engine lost power. He adjusted the fuel mixture and throttle to no avail. While he was maneuvering for an off-airport landing, the left wing impacted a pole. The airplane then rotated counterclockwise and impacted an open field, and the nose landing gear broke off. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount, fuselage, and both wings. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The sheriff's deputy who responded to the accident reported that he saw fuel pouring out of the left wing. The Federal Aviation Administrator inspector who examined the airplane reported that the fuel selector lever was positioned to the right tank. The right wing tank contained between about 8 and 10 ounces of fuel with no visible signs of leakage. The wing-to-fuselage lower trim panel was removed, and the vent line and fuel supply lines were intact and secured. The left wing tank contained about 4.5 gallons. Fuel seepage stains were seen on the forward part of the pilot door. The inspector added that the overall engine condition was good.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in fuel starvation, a total loss of engine power, and impact with a pole during an off-airport landing.


Fuel - Fluid management (Cause)

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

Environmental issues
Pole - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

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

Off-field or emergency landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/27/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/03/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 250 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7871U
Model/Series: 172 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17251871
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/22/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  3951.67 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A4M
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: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: KIYA, 50 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0055 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 79°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 25°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Houston, TX (DWH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: New Iberia, LA (ARA)
Type of Clearance: VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1750 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 29.937222, -92.319722 (est)

KAPLAN, Louisiana (KLFY)- A pilot sustained minor to moderate injuries after a small plane crashed in a field south of Kaplan Friday night, authorities said.

According the Vermilion Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, the small plane hit a tree and damaged a SLEMCO power line along West Liberty Road.

The pilot told the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office he was forced to make an emergency landing when the plane lost power after it it the power line.

The plane was traveling from Houston to New Iberia when the crash occurred authorities said.

The pilot was treated at a local medical facility, an official said.

Story and video ➤ https://www.klfy.com

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