NTSB Identification: LAX99FA262.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 03, 1999 in TUSAYAN, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177B, registration: N19113
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 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 cross-country flight departed Big Bear, California, with stops in Las Vegas, Nevada, Grand Canyon, Arizona, and returning to Big Bear. The accident departure from Grand Canyon National Park Airport was performed on runway 03; an 8,999-foot runway with a 0.8 percent up gradient (76-foot increase), and a density altitude of 8,800 feet msl. Witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to be slow, and barely cleared trees and buildings while climbing into mildly rising terrain. About 2 miles from the runway, the airplane was seen to roll to the left and descended into trees. The FAA Approved Flight Manual (AFM) for the accident airplane/performance data was not found at the accident site; however, a Cessna 337 Skymaster AFM was found. A California Airport Directory was also recovered. No Grand Canyon Airport information was found at the site other than the Las Vegas Sectional Chart airport information. Examination of the dual magneto revealed internal case corrosion on the left interior of the magneto. The right magneto was timed 22 degrees BTC instead of 25 degrees BTC. Test bench results indicated that the right magneto exhibited a weak spark. The massive electrode spark plugs exhibited a gap in excess of the recommended maximum gap for the plug. Cylinder plugs No. 1 and 2 were fuel sooted, No. 3 appeared lean, and No. 4 was slightly sooted.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: was the pilot's failure to have available and consult the FAA approved flight manual for performance data and, the high density altitude. Contributing to the accident were the dual magneto and spark plug system issues affecting optimum engine performance. Full narrative available
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