NTSB Identification: WPR12LA286
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 24, 2012 in Watsonville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N55DN
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 stated that he departed the airport for the 15-minute skydiving flight with about 20 gallons of fuel onboard. After completing a jump run, he was returning to the airport and maneuvered the airplane on final approach. When the airplane was about 3 miles from the runway and about 1,200 feet above ground level, the engine experienced a partial loss of power. The pilot configured the airplane for the best glide speed, and, shortly thereafter, the engine quit producing any power. The airplane subsequently collided with trees in an orchard about 600 yards from the approach end of the runway.

At the accident site, there was no fuel in the right wing; the remaining fuel from the left wing totaled about 5 gallons. Neither of the tanks were breached; however, the airplane was inverted and some fuel was slowly dripping out the vent, thus it was not possible to determine the exact quantity of fuel in the tanks at the time of the accident. The fuel selector was in the “BOTH ON” position and the unusable fuel for each 30-gallon tank was 2.5 gallons; therefore, the left wing tank had usable fuel at the time of the accident. A postaccident engine examination revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

A total loss of engine power during approach for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Full narrative available

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