NTSB Identification: LAX96LA241.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 22, 1996 in MENDOTA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 182, registration: N3675U
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot carried four parachute jumpers aloft; one left the aircraft at 4,500 feet and the last three left at 12,000 feet. After all the jumpers had exited, the pilot decided to do a power off stall. He stated that he was 'curious about the gliding abilities of the 182' and pulled the mixture control to idle cutoff when the aircraft was over the airport at 11,500 feet. During the stall maneuver the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot glided down in an orbit over the airport to 5,000 feet before trying to start the engine. All subsequent engine restart efforts during the descent were unsuccessful and he decided to land on runway 32 because the winds were from 330 degrees when he departed. The pilot said that once on final approach he saw that he was high and fast, then noticed that the windsock indicated a tailwind. The pilot attempted to use flaps and a prolonged slip; however, the aircraft floated down the entire length of the 3,550-foot-long runway. The aircraft finally touched down on the nose gear 280 feet beyond the runway's departure end. The nose gear collapsed and the aircraft nosed over. An FAA airworthiness inspector examined the aircraft and reported finding evidence of fuel leakage past the filler caps as the aircraft lay upside down in the field. No discrepancies were found in the engine, the induction system, or engine compartment fuel lines/filters. With the exception of the bladder fuel tanks, no discrepancies or contaminants were found in the airframe fuel system. Detailed examination of the fuel bladder tanks revealed that portions of the cells were loose and not secured to the internal wing structure. Folds were noted on the bottom of the cells with evidence of trapped fuel in the folds and wrinkles.

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

The pilot's decision to intentionally shut down the engine; his failure to verify the surface winds during the prolonged orbiting descent over the airport, which resulted in a final approach with a tailwind component; and his misjudging of the aircraft's altitude and speed during the power off forced landing attempt, which led to a runway overrun.

Full narrative available

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