Sunday, November 15, 2020

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP, N683SP; accident occurred November 17, 2019 at Dubois Regional Airport (KDUJ), Jefferson County, Pennsylvania


Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: DuBois, Pennsylvania 
Accident Number: GAA20CA089
Date & Time: November 17, 2019, 17:30 Local 
Registration: N683SP
Aircraft: Cessna 172 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that the airplane was refueled while he performed the preflight inspection at night. He recalled that the fuel selector had been set to "both," and about halfway through the flight, he noticed that the right fuel tank appeared full but that the left fuel gauge indicated that fuel was being consumed from the left tank. He decided that he would "check the situation " when he reached his destination.  About 5 miles from his destination, he noticed that the left-wing tank fuel quantity indicator showed that the left tank had 5 gallons remaining and that the right tank was still full. The pilot stated that, during the approach, the airplane became "very unstable and seemed to be uncoordinated." The stall warning horn sounded, and he applied left aileron and left rudder to align the airplane's heading with the runway heading but was unsuccessful.

He aborted the landing, established a climb, and retracted the flaps. The Low Fuel warning light illuminated, and he switched the fuel selector to the right tank. The engine lost power, and he made a right tear drop turn back to the runway. When the airplane was about 1,000 ft above ground level, he pitched for best glide airspeed, about 70 knots, and he attempted to restart the engine to no avail. He lowered the nose, the airspeed increased to 85 knots, and he added 20° of flaps and landed on the runway. The airplane bounced hard and then came to a stop. After the accident, it was determined that the right fuel cap was not secured and had fallen off the airplane onto the runway during takeoff. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage longerons. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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 and a total loss of engine power, and his subsequent improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard, bounced landing. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's improper preflight inspection during which he failed to see that the right fuel cap was not secured.


Aircraft Fuel - Fluid management
Aircraft Landing flare - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of checklist - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft inspection event
Landing-aborted after touchdown Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Landing-aborted after touchdown Fuel starvation
Landing Abnormal runway contact
Landing Hard landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 20, 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 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/27/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/05/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 103 hours (Total, all aircraft), 48 hours (Total, this make and model), 18 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 13 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N683SP
Model/Series: 172 S
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1999
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 172S8094
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/29/2019, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2558 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6938.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-L2A
Registered Owner: Hobart Aviation Inc
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: Hobart Aviation Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDUJ, 1805 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 81°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 130°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 2°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Akron, OH (AKR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Akron, OH (AKR)
Type of Clearance: Traffic Advisory; VFR Flight Following
Departure Time: 1630 EST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Dubois Rgnl (DUJ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1816 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 25
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5503 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Go Around

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: 41.178333, -78.898611 (est)

1 comment:

  1. No airline job for this mediocre wannabe pilot. Hopefully a case where the newly minted pilot records database will do its job!