NTSB Identification: CHI03LA082.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Saturday, March 08, 2003 in Callao, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172H, registration: N275SW
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 aircraft was substantially damaged during a forced landing at a private airstrip. According to the pilot's statement, shortly after departure, approximately 3 miles west of the airstrip, the engine "started cutting out." He reported that he applied carburetor heat and checked the mixture, however, the engine performance did not improve. At that point, he decided to return to the local airstrip. The pilot stated: "Approximately 1/2 mile away I slowed down and added 20 degrees of flaps. As I approached the threshold end at a heading of 090 degrees, I applied more flaps. The airplane stayed in ground [effect] and didn't land until about 2/3 of the way down the runway. Upon touchdown I took out all flaps as the airplane slid down the grass/muddy runway. The airplane slid off the end of the runway with the nose wheel striking a gravel road and breaking off. The airplane then flipped over coming to rest upside down in the road ditch." The pilot reported that he decided to approach straight-in, for a downwind landing, due to the lack of available power, as well as the rising terrain and two sets of power lines east of the airstrip. He noted that he was slightly fast on final approach. According to the pilot, his preflight weather briefing advised of winds from 240 degrees at 14 knots. Winds reported 20nm north of the accident site were from 330 degrees at 17 knots. During a post accident examination, no compression was obtained on engine cylinder 2. The number 2 cylinder was removed and the cylinder and piston were inspected. The bottom edge of the number 2 piston head was eroded and burned. The damage extended past the piston rings and included a hole in the side of the piston. In addition, the side of the piston as well as the cylinder wall, exhibited scoring in the direction of piston travel. The piston rings were broken. The condition of the piston was consistent with pre-ignition.

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

A loss of engine power due to the erosion of the number 2 piston, resulting in loss of compression on that cylinder. Contributing factors were the tailwind, the muddy runway condition, and the roadway and ditch.

Full narrative available

Index for Mar2003 | Index of months