NTSB Identification: LAX01LA050.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 03, 2000 in PARADISE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/23/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 182J, registration: N182DD
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After discharging three parachutists into a drop zone from about 12,000 feet mean sea level, the pilot attempted to return to the departure airport. The engine began surging as the airplane descended through 8,000 feet. The pilot continued the descent and entered the departure airport's traffic pattern. He misjudged his distance from the runway, and when all engine power was lost turning onto the final approach leg he was unable to glide to the runway. The airplane impacted terrain about 250 feet short of the landing threshold whereupon it nosed over. Regarding the pilot's qualifications, he was 5 months overdue in his performance of a biennial flight review, and he had not flown during the previous 90 days. The pilot had alleged to the firm which used his piloting services that he possessed a commercial pilot certificate and had at least 4,000 hours of flight time. On a May 2000 application for an FAA medical certificate, the pilot indicated that he held a commercial pilot certificate and had 8,100 hours of total flight time. According to the FAA, no record exists of the pilot holding any certificate in the United States other than that of private pilot. The pilot subsequently reported to the Safety Board that he had about 1,905 hours of flight time. A reconstruction of the fuel load carried during the accident flight in concert with the fuel burn off rates revealed that, at the time of the crash, the approximate quantity of fuel on board was 4.4 gallons. According to the Cessna Aircraft Company, the unusable fuel for each tank is 2.5 gallons, or a total of 5 gallons.

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

Fuel exhaustion during a descent due to an inadequate fuel supply. Contributing factors were the pilot's improper preflight planning, his misjudged altitude while performing the emergency landing, and his lack of certificate qualification and recent flight experience/currency.

Full narrative available

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