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N3146S accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 35.726945°N, 91.242777°W
Nearest city Tuckerman, AR
35.730633°N, 91.198460°W
2.5 miles away
Tail number N3146S
Accident date 02 May 2002
Aircraft type Cessna 182G
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 2, 2002, at 1645 central daylight time, a Cessna 182G single-engine airplane, N3146S, was substantially damaged when it impacted a levee during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Tuckerman, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to Silver Air Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware, and operated by Silverwing Aviation of Searcy, Arkansas. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries, and his passenger was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed and activated for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight departed from Sherman Army Field (FLV), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, approximately 1430, for a destination of Newport, Arkansas.

The 1050-hour pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), that he "had the airplane topped off before leaving FLV." He took off and climbed out with the fuel selector in the "BOTH" position. After leveling off, he switched the fuel selector to the "LEFT" tank, and flew for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, then switched to the "RIGHT" tank. The engine sputtered after just a few minutes so he checked the carburetor heat and switched back to "BOTH". "The engine began running normal again." The pilot stated that they were in VFR conditions and could see his destination, so he canceled his IFR clearance. The enginelost power and his attempt to restart it was unsuccessful, so he landed in a field short of his destination. During the landing roll in the field, the nose landing gear impacted a levee and separated. The airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted.

According to an FAA inspector, earlier in the day, the airplane departed Newport for Fort Leavenworth. During a fuel stop at Harrisonville, Missouri, an individual loaned the pilot a pair of needle nose pliers after the pilot stated that the locking tabs were broken from the cap on the left main fuel tank. The individual suggested to the pilot that he purchase a new fuel cap; however, the pilot did not purchase one. The airplane was serviced with 46.390 gallons of 100LL fuel, and the airplane departed for the 15 minute flight to Fort Leavenworth. After landing, the pilot purchase approximately 27 gallons of 100LL fuel from a self service pump. Ground personnel reported to the pilot that the left main tank had a "bad fuel leak," and the pilot stated that the cap was broken. The pilot was offered duct tape, and he taped the left main fuel tank filler cap with approximately 2 square feet of the duct tape. During the flight to Newport, approximately two miles west of Tuckerman, the engine lost power. The airplane was found in a rice field about 60 feet short of a private grass strip, which the pilot was attempting to land.

An examination of the airplane, by FAA inspectors who responded to the accident site, revealed that the landing gear, the firewall, and the left wing spar were damaged. Examination of the fuel system revealed that the left fuel filler cap was loose and the clip was broken. No fuel was found in either tank, and there was no evidence of a fuel spill; however, there was blue streaking from the left fuel tank filler port to the trailing edge of the wing.

The total fuel capacity of the Cessna 182G is 65 gallons

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's operation of the airplane with a known equipment deficiency, which resulted in fuel leakage and a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A contributing factors was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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