Sunday, January 19, 2020

Fuel Related: Cessna 172E Skyhawk, N7748U; accident occurred July 02, 2016 in Salmon, Lemhi County, Idaho

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Salmon, ID
Accident Number: WPR16LA133
Date & Time: 07/02/2016, 1100 MDT
Registration: N7748U
Aircraft: CESSNA 172
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel related
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On July 2, 2016, about 1100 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172E airplane, N7748U, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, 10 miles east of Salmon, Idaho. The student pilot and the flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was registered to Spirit Air, Inc., and the flight instructor was operating it as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight which originated from Lemhi County Airport (SMN), Salmon, Idaho at an unknown time.

The flight instructor stated that during the flight they had performed various private pilot training maneuvers. He further stated that he set the airplane up for a simulated engine failure by applying carburetor heat and decreasing the engine power to 1,200 rpm. The student pilot followed emergency procedures, used the checklist, and prepared to land. After the carburetor heat control was pushed back in and the throttle advanced, there was a sudden loss of engine power. The flight instructor stated that there was no coughing or hesitation during the power loss. Despite the flight instructor's efforts, he was unsuccessful in restarting the engine and initiated the forced landing.

During the forced landing, the airplane's right horizontal stabilizer struck a fence which resulted in substantial damage.

Post accident examination of the recovered wreckage was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector.

The airplane's wings were removed to facilitate transportation of the wreckage. During the wreckage recovery, 10 gallons of fuel was collected from the left-wing fuel tank and 8 gallons of fuel was collected from the right-wing fuel tank. The inspector reported that the wing tanks were intact, and the fuel vents were clear of debris. The wing tank caps were examined and both cap rubber seals had cracking around their outer circumference. The right-wing tank filler neck was heavily corroded with deep pitting.

The inline-fuel strainer had been installed on the airplane in accordance with Steve's Aircraft STC SA01026SE. This inline-fuel strainer replaced the original inline strainer positioned on the firewall. The new strainer was not equipped with the option of draining the bowl from the cockpit and has a manual sump valve on the bowl. The strainer was drained from the sump during the examination and revealed that the strainer bowl was three-quarters full of water. The strainer bowl was removed and had small amounts of debris. The cockpit strainer drain knob was removed from instrument panel, but was not placarded "inoperative."

The engine's fuel lines were secure and in good condition. The carburetor was examined and showed normal operating signatures. The carburetor bowl was removed and contained a small amount of fuel and no contaminates.

The cylinders were examined with a boroscope and showed normal operating conditions. The No. 1 cylinder exhaust valve head revealed a small chip missing, resulting in a low pressure during the cylinder compression test. The remaining cylinders had normal compression pressures.

The crankshaft was rotated, and spark was produced at each ignition lead. The ignition switch, P-leads and magnetos revealed no anomalies.

The FAA inspector conducted separate interviews with the student pilot and flight instructor. The student pilot stated that the only fuel drains that were sumped during the preflight inspection prior to the accident flight, were the main wing tanks. The student pilot further stated he did not know about the fuel strainer sump, and that the flight instructor never showed him.

The flight instructor stated that he had performed a preflight inspection after the student pilot had drained the wing tanks and fuel strainer sumps. The flight instructor remembers that the student pilot found a small amount of water in the left-wing tank but didn't drain the fuel strainer. He concluded by stating that there was no other water was found during the preflight.

A National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report Form 6120.1 was not provided during the investigation.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Flight Engineer
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
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 Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/10/2016
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 35000 hours (Total, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: , Male
Airplane Rating(s): 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification:
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  20 hours (Total, all aircraft), 9 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N7748U
Model/Series:172 E 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 17251748
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: Installed
Engine Model/Series: O-300 SER
Registered Owner: SPIRIT AIR INC
Rated Power: 145 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: KSMN, 4044 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1655 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 279°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:/ None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Salmon, ID
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Salmon, ID
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  MDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Lemhi County Airport (SMN)
Runway Surface Type:
Airport Elevation: 4044 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach:None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Simulated Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.096389, -113.689722 (est)

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