Friday, November 13, 2020

Cessna 182T Skylane, N939CP: Fatal accident occurred November 12, 2020 near Whiteman Airport (KWHP), Los Angeles County, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Location: Los Angeles, CA 
Accident Number: WPR21FA048
Date & Time: November 12, 2020, 11:43 Local 
Registration: N939CP
Aircraft: Cessna 182 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Positioning

On November 12, 2020, about 1143 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182T airplane, N939CP, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Whiteman Airport, Los Angeles, California. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight.

Review of the preliminary Air Traffic Control tower audio revealed that the pilot reported a loss of engine power while on final approach to the airport. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted power lines and then struck several vehicles before it impacted the ground. Local law enforcement, the Federal Aviation Administration, and National Transportation Safety Board personnel responded to the
accident site, which was located on a road in a residential area. A survey of the accident site revealed that all major components of the airplane necessary for flight were located and that there was a postimpact fire.

The airplane was recovered to a secure location for future examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N939CP
Model/Series: 182 T 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KWHP
Observation Time: 10:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0.5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 17°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Bakersfield, CA (BFL)
Destination: Los Angeles, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 34.259325,-118.41343 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email


PACOIMA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Civil Air Patrol pilot was killed when a small plane slammed into multiple vehicles that were parked on a residential street in Pacoima on Thursday morning, igniting a fire near several homes, officials said.

No other injuries were reported in the crash, which occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. in 10000 block of North Sutter Avenue, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. The deceased pilot, the only person onboard the aircraft, was not immediately identified.

The Civil Air Patrol California Wing later identified the pilot as a member of that organization, but did not release the pilot's name.

The plane was identified as a Cessna 182T Skylane.

"Our hearts go out to the family of the member involved, and to all of the volunteer Civil Air Patrol members in California Wing who diligently serve their state and country with pride and professionalism," said Col. Ross Veta, Commander of the California Wing, Civil Air Patrol.

The Civil Air Patrol is a citizen auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. In California, there are more than 3,600 members in eight groups and 72 squadrons and wing units providing emergency services, cadet programs, and aerospace education. They operate a fleet of 27 aircraft and 45 ground vehicles. The volunteer members help with emergency search missions, promote education and other public service functions.

Firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished flames that engulfed several parked vehicles near a Whiteman Airport runway. The wreckage of the plane was nearly obliterated.

Initial reports that the aircraft had struck a house appeared to be unfounded.

In a statement, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the crash happened as the Cessna 182T Skylane was approaching the airport's Runway 12.

LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said the plane hit "energized power lines" which then fell to the street below. "Firefighters then immediately cordoned that area off with yellow tape to ensure safety, so no one gets electrocuted," he told reporters at the scene, adding that the LAFD was working with the city's Department of Water and Power to deenergize the lines.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.


  1. Review of LiveAtc recordings indicate pilot reported loss of power.

  2. Prayers for the pilot’s family and friends. 🙏😢💔

  3. I knew him well he was a retire LtCol from the USAF. the Crash Video gave me nightmares knowing someone I knew was killed. (includes LiveATC playback) If he only had a couple of more feet and another minute to get out of his plane. Looks like the fuel was ignited by the power lines.
    Rest in Peace Richard.

  4. So close to making it :( RIP sir and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends

    1. The pilot is reported to have said he intended to 'stretch the glide as much as possible'. Perhaps that was his only option since from GoogleEarth images there are few locations around that airport that aren't built up and full of people. If that was his decision space... the outcome was foreordained.

    2. Pretty much the only option would have been to offset a block to the right and land around the train tracks. However, the recent accident of N8056L shows that the one problem with that is the frequent Metrolink trains!

  5. According to news reports the pilot told ATC that he intended to "stretch the glide" as much as possible. GoogleEarth images of the airport don't show many places along the approach that would offer a 'good' alternative to the runway he almost made. It's not yet clear what his altitude was when the engine stopped producing power. His decision space was potentially very small, and left him few alternatives. It's generally a poor outcome when we select "stretch glide" over most other options.

  6. A quick look at his flight logs, indicates an exceedingly steep descent rate of 1700 feet per minute, over 3 + minutes. 500 fpm is a more normal descent rate. Such a rate, with the throttle pulled back close to idle so as to not overspeed the plane or engine, could cause icing of the carburetor, and loss of power, due to no carb heat. His dropping like a rock and not having much altitude left when his engine lost power, didn't leave him many options left. A tiny bit sooner of pulling out of that descent rate and saving some altitude, perhaps 25 to 40 feet higher, would have allowed him to make the fence and land on the runway. I was at Whiteman when this occurred. No mistaking the sound of 3 distinct impacts. It will be interesting to see what the determination was of the loss of power. Pilot was so very, very, very close to making the runway.... he needed so little more for altitude to make it. over the power lines. 15 to 20 feet more altitude, and he'd be alive.

    1. Except of course the C182t doesn’t have a carburetor does it? I believe it’s fuel injected.

  7. was it possible he was at a very lean condition and didnt enrichen with a dcent?

  8. From the NTSB final report: Post accident examination of the wreckage revealed that the engine’s throttle control rod was separated from the throttle body control arm. None of the attachment hardware, which comprised of a bolt, washer, castellated nut, and cotter pin, was found. Additionally, no
    evidence of impact damage was noted in the throttle lever linkage control rod end or the control arm where it attached.


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