NTSB Identification: WPR12LA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 28, 2011 in Prineville, OR
Aircraft: CESSNA 185, registration: N520YH
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 28, 2011, about 1350 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 185, N520YH, was substantially damaged during an off-field forced landing near Prineville, Oregon, following a complete loss of engine power. The pilot/owner and the two passengers were not injured. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight.
According to the pilot, the flight originated from a private airstrip in central Idaho, and was destined for Bend Municipal Airport (BDN), Bend, Oregon. The cruise portion of the flight was conducted at an altitude of 10,500 feet, in accordance with visual flight rules, and without air traffic control services. When the airplane was approximately 10 miles from BDN, and in a cruise descent passing through about 6,500 feet, the engine suddenly ceased developing power. In response to the power loss, the pilot manipulated the throttle, mixture, and propeller controls, but he was unsuccessful in restoring power. The pilot selected an unpaved road for the forced landing, but switched to a less suitable area due to the presence of multiple fence posts. During the landing rollout, at a speed that the pilot estimated to be 10 miles an hour, the airplane struck some vegetation, and it nosed over onto its back.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information, the airplane was manufactured in 1978, and was equipped with a Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) IO-550 series engine. Pilot-provided information indicated that as of its most recent annual inspection in November 2010, the airplane had accrued a total time in service of 8,131 hours. The airplane was also equipped with an electronic fuel flow indicator, and a separate engine monitor. At the time of the power loss, the airplane had been airborne for about 2 1/2 hours, and the electronic fuel flow instrument indicated that there was sufficient fuel for 1 more hour of flight.
On-scene examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector about 20 hours after the accident revealed that when the airplane was righted, the left fuel tank contained about 6 gallons of fuel, and the right tank contained about 23 gallons. The fuel selector was found set to the left tank. Continuity from the cockpit throttle, mixture, and propeller controls was established to the respective components in the engine compartment.
The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with instrument airplane, and single and multi engine land ratings. He reported a total flight experience of about 3,800 hours, including about 830 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in July 2008, and his most recent flight review was completed in October 2011.
The 1350 BDN automated weather observation included winds from 180 degrees at 6 knots; visibility 10 miles, clear skies; temperature 15 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.07 inches of mercury.
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