Saturday, August 15, 2020

Unknown or Undetermined: Cessna 182, N182GQ; accident occurred July 16, 2018 at Odessa Airport-Schlemeyer Field (KODO), Ector County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lubbock, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Odessa, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA272
Date & Time: 07/16/2018, 1430 CDT
Registration: N182GQ
Aircraft:Cessna 182
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Unknown or undetermined
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 16, 2018, about 1430 central daylight time, a Cessna 182 airplane, N182GQ, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Odessa-Schlemeyer Field (ODO), Odessa, Texas. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

When the pilot landed at ODO, the pilot smelled smoke, so he shut down and exited the airplane. He saw fire in the vicinity of the baggage compartment. The fire consumed a majority of the fuselage and the inboard portion of both wings.

The wreckage was examined by a responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector. He could not determine a source of ignition and provided photos for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Materials Laboratory Fire & Explosion Specialist. After reviewing the photos, she assessed that the level of fire damage was so great that determining a point of origin would be both difficult and unreliable.

The pilot stated that he had recently installed a lithium-ion battery in the emergency locator transmitter (ELT). Since the ELT lithium-ion battery was suspected to be a possible source, the ELT was removed and sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory for examination. The examination of the batteries did not reveal any signatures of failure that would have been the fire's point of origin. Investigators were not able to determine the source of the fire.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification:Unknown
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N182GQ
Model/Series: 182 Q
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1980
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18265848
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2348 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4240 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
Engine Model/Series: O-470-U
Registered Owner: Gulf Coast Helicopters Inc
Rated Power: 230 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: KODO, 3001 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1953 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 154°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 17 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.1 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Sugar Land, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Odessa, TX (ODO)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1200 CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Odessa-Schlemeyer Field (ODO)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3003 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 34
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5003 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 31.922500, -102.388056 (est)


  1. Yeah, that's not suspicious at all.

    You don't know where your fire extinguisher is in the aircraft? You can't get a tail fire out before it goes to the wet wings?

    Not saying it didn't happen as described, but I'd be really thorough before the insurance payout.

    1. The aircraft was part of a aerial survey/mapping/sensing operation. Special equipment is put in aircraft to do that work. A wiring fault related to power for sensing/imaging equipment could do it.

      The main battery is located behind the baggage compartment. Although you don't expect someone to tap a feed at the battery, omit over current protection or route a power harness in the open inside the cabin, unauthorized work could include all three.

      Sharp edges, vibration and a tow bar floating around in the baggage compartment could bring on the landing fire if electrical mod work was not done right. Can't tell much from the burned out hulk, but the tow bar is visible in one photo.

  2. You should learn what type of fire extinguisher is in a C182. That type of extinguisher in a C182 wouldn't even slow down a lithium ion battery fire.

    1. It's a good thing the NTSB ruled out the elt battery as the source of the fire.

  3. Ya know, I get that the preliminary report doesn't want to get too specific and draw conclusions, but I'm thinking in this case, it would have been OK to go with "Destroyed" for aircraft damage.

  4. I guess under the Subheading: Wreckage and Impact Information the small subset list Aircraft Damage as Substantial is not a description enough? I suspect for insurance purposes whether aircraft damage is destroyed or suffered substantial damage this plane should be written off. The pilot is fortunate to get out of the plane and walk away. Your heart still aches even if you have insurance coverage.