NTSB Identification: ANC95GA048.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 12, 1995 in BUMPING LAKE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/03/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N97843
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The private pilot, a civil air patrol (CAP) volunteer, was on a CAP flight for proficiency training and to conduct business. The VFR cross-country flight was planned over mountainous terrain. The pilot obtained a weather briefing that included information about icing conditions along the planned route. During the flight, no communication was received from the pilot other than activation of his flight plan after departing the airport. The airplane was reported overdue, but a search was hampered due to IFR conditions and snow. No transponder code was issued to the airplane, and no discrete radar data was located in stored radar data to assist in locating the airplane. By 0900 on 4/15/95, analysis of the primary target radar returns helped in locating the accident airplane. Also, only an intermittent signal was transmitted from the airplane's emergency locator transmitter (ELT). The wreckage was located 3 days later, where the airplane had crash landed on snow covered mountainous terrain. Investigation revealed the pilot initially survived the accident, but succumbed to hypothermia. He was wearing a flight suit over dress clothes, a flight jacket, and dress shoes. No survival equipment was required to be carried in the airplane. The pilot had a personal survival kit, but had left it in his vehicle at the departure airport. A note found in the wreckage indicated that the engine lost power. After recovery, the engine operated normally. The transponder switch was found in the "standby" position; inspection of the ELT revealed a faulty tuning crystal. The pilot had received training in survival skills and was a CAP survival skills instructor.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power for an undetermined reason. Factors relating to the accident were: lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing in mountains, low ambient temperatures that contributed to hypothermia, the lack of survival equipment, an erratic ELT signal due to a faulty tuning crystal, and the lack of discrete transponder data to assist in the search.

Full narrative available

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