NTSB Identification: DFW05CA219.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 21, 2005 in Springtown, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172R, registration: N93AF
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
While in cruise flight at an altitude of 6,500 feet, the 404-hour private pilot noticed a "mist" forming on the windscreen. He decided to return to the airport from which he had departed and began a descent. During the descent the oil pressure light illuminated and the pilot observed that the "oil temperature was very high." The pilot then elected to shut down the engine. Realizing that he could not reach the airport, he proceeded to search for a suitable landing field. After attempting to declare an emergency, he selected a landing field and turned towards it. Observing power lines in his path, the pilot restarted the engine in an attempt to avoid contacting them. The airplane's "engine responded with very little effect," but the pilot was able to clear the power lines and landed in a field. During landing, the nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane nosed over, coming to rest in an inverted position. An examination of the engine revealed that the engine oil pressure switch, (P/N 83278), had failed internally which allowed engine oil to vent overboard. No other pre-impact anomalies were noted with the engine. At the time of recovery the engine oil sump contained approximately six quarts of engine oil. The Cessna 172R Skyhawk Information Manual dated December 2, 1996, page 3-20 stated: "If a total loss of oil pressure is accompanied by a rise in oil temperature, there is good reason to suspect an engine failure is imminent. Reduce engine power immediately and select a suitable forced landing field. Use only the minimum power required to reach the desired touchdown spot."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper decision to shut down the engine. Contributing factors were the failure of the oil pressure switch and the lack of a suitable landing area. Full narrative available
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