NTSB Identification: LAX91FA386.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45769.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 07, 1991 in BULLHEAD CITY, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172K, registration: N7031G
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 aircraft accident report.

THE ATP CERTIFICATED PILOT AND HIS WIFE HAD BEEN AIRBORNE FOR ABOUT 35 MINUTES AND WERE APPROACHING AN AIRPORT FOR LANDING WHEN SHE STATED THAT THEY HAD AN INFLIGHT CABIN FIRE. THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORIGINATED AT LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, WHERE THEY HAD JUST BEEN MARRIED. PRIOR TO REACHING THE INTENDED AIRPORT, SHE STATED THE FIRE ORIGINATED IN THE OVERHEAD LIGHT CONSOLE WHICH HOUSES 2 RHEOSTATS AND A LIGHT SWITCH. THE FIRE BEGAN TO BURN THE HEADLINER AND PLASTIC CONSOLE. THE BURNING PLASTIC WAS DRIPPING ONTO THEIR BODIES. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED OUT OF CONTROL NEAR THE RUNWAY IN THE DIRT AND WAS DESTROYED. THE CABIN FIRE WAS EXTINGUISHED BY THE LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT. A DUPLICATE CONSOLE WAS TESTED. WHEN THE DOOR POST LIGHT WAS SHORTED, THE LIGHTING RHEOSTAT IN THE CONSOLE REACHED IN EXCESS OF 1425 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT AT A CIRCUIT LOAD 6 AMPS MAXIMUM. THE CIRCUIT IS PROTECTED BY A 10 AMP BREAKER. THE OVERHEAD CABIN PLASTIC MATERIAL WAS FOUND TO READILY BURN.

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

1) A SHORT CIRCUIT, 2) ELECTRICAL OVERLOAD WHICH IGNITED THE CABIN INTERIOR, 3) INADEQUATE ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT PROTECTION, AND 4) INSUFFICIENT ELECTRICAL SYSTEM DESIGN STANDARDS.

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