NTSB Identification: WPR09LA223
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 01, 2009 in Puyallup, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N382CH
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 pilot reported that the accident flight was the first flight following maintenance that replaced the fuel sending units, which required draining the fuel tanks. The pilot stated that maintenance personnel added 20 gallons of fuel to each main tank following the work. He did not physically check the fuel level in the tanks, but noted that both fuel gages indicated the same amount of fuel prior to flight. He reported that the engine lost power about 500 feet above ground level on takeoff, and he made an off airport landing that damaged the wings, airframe, and rudder. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the airplane the night of the accident, and noted that no fuel was in the left main tank, but maintenance personnel drained about 20 gallons from the right tank. On a follow-up exam, investigators added 5 gallons of fuel to the left wing tank. The engine started immediately without hesitation. It accelerated smoothly to 1,800 rpm, and a magneto check revealed no anomalies. The engine was decelerated to idle rpm; the engine ran smoothly, and shutdown was unremarkable. The airplane had a recording engine data management unit installed. Data indicated that fuel flow dropped to 0 gallons per hour 6 seconds prior to a loss of rpm.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot’s failure to verify the fuel levels in the tanks, and, his failure to select the proper fuel tank. Full narrative available
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