Monday, May 11, 2020

Powerplant System/Component Malfunction/Failure: Cessna 177 Cardinal, N9058F; accident occurred May 15, 2018 near Smith Field Airport (KSMD), Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Accident Number: CEN18LA174
Date & Time: 05/15/2018, 1455 EDT
Registration: N9058F
Aircraft: CESSNA 177
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 15, 2018, at 1455 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177 airplane, N9058F, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Fort Wayne, Indiana. The commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The local flight originated from the Smith Field Airport (SMD), Fort Wayne, Indiana, at 1453.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff as he leveled the airplane at 2,600 ft mean sea level, the engine rpm began decreasing and he heard a "thumping" noise in the engine. He lowered the nose of the airplane to maintain 80 mph and turned back toward the airport. The thumping noise increased, and he smelled burning oil just before the engine quit. The pilot selected a field for a forced landing and as he approached the field, he banked to the left to avoid overrunning the field. As he banked, the left wingtip contacted the ground and the airplane slid sideways collapsing the nose landing gear. Both wings sustained substantial damage.

According to the responding Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, an examination of the engine revealed no oil on the engine oil dip stick. Oil was visible on the right side of the cowling and oil was coming from the oil cooler. According to the maintenance records, the engine, including the oil cooler, was new and had been installed about 8 hours prior to the accident flight.

The oil cooler was sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC, for further examination. Examination of the oil cooler revealed that the leak came from between the plates forming the third oil circuit from the bottom. There was no evidence of mechanical damage from an external source and no evidence of bulging or other distortions.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
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 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/26/2016
Flight Time: 3255 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1405 hours (Total, this make and model), 3193 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 50 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 12 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N9058F
Model/Series: 177
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1967
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 17700304
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 04/21/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2350 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 8 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3844 Hours
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 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: SMD, 836 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 2 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1454 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 135°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 6000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Light - Thunderstorms - Rain
Departure Point: FORT WAYNE, IN (SMD)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: FORT WAYNE, IN (SMD)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1453 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Smith Field (SMD)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 834 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Rough
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion:None 
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 1.170000, -85.180000