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N9277X accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Boulder City, NV
35.978591°N, 114.832485°W
Tail number N9277X
Accident date 16 Mar 2001
Aircraft type Cessna 182E
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 16, 2001, at 1505 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182E, N9277X, was substantially damaged during an off-airport emergency landing following loss of engine power at Boulder City, Nevada. The commercial certificated pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The local area flight had carried skydivers aloft and was returning to land with only the pilot aboard. The flight was operated by Skydive Las Vegas under 14 CFR Part 91, and departed at 1430. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that the engine lost power at the end of his descent from the 12,000-foot drop altitude as the airplane approached a 3-mile left base leg for landing on runway 27L. When the engine lost power, he checked that the fuel selector was in the "both" tanks position, the mixture was in the "rich" position, and checked individual magnetos; all with no effect. He was then at low altitude and diverted his attention to completing the off-airport landing.

A postaccident examination of the aircraft by the operator found about 10 gallons of fuel in the left tank and 5 gallons in the right tank. Examination of the aircraft and engine by the operator's mechanics did not reveal any mechanical anomaly. The cylinder combustion chambers and the electrodes of the engine upper spark plugs were found with a whitish appearance. Three of the lower spark plugs were found with lead deposits in proximity of the ceramic insulators. A chart used by the Safety Board showed that the temperature and dew point present were not conducive to formation of carburetor icing.

The operator reported that the pilot had worked for him for 2 weeks. When he was hired, the pilot was given about 10 hours of flight training as a jump-plane pilot. The flight on which the accident occurred was the pilot's fourth or fifth unsupervised flight, and required that the jumpers be dropped from 12,000 feel msl. In cases involving high drops, like this, the pilot was taught to descend with the mixture leaned in order to reduce spark plug fouling. The operator reported that he arrived at the accident scene shortly after the police and that no one had tampered with the aircraft. He found the mixture control was "not even half way in."

NTSB Probable Cause

The loss of engine power during landing descent for undetermined reasons.

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