On February 24, 1996, at 1420 mountain standard time, N76027, a Cessna 172, operated by Great Western Aviation, Inc., Ogden, Utah, was destroyed by fire while standing at an airport in West Jordan, Utah. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and a passenger were not injured. The student pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The instructional flight departed from West Jordan and was conducted under 14 CFR 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the CFI, the airplane departed from Salt Lake City No. 2 Airport in West Jordan on an instructional flight at 1405. While climbing through 5,800 feet above mean sea level, the engine began to "run rough." The CFI elected to return to the airport. While on final approach to runway 16, the engine lost all power. The airplane landed uneventfully and stopped on the runway. The pilot reported that he then attempted to restart the engine so that he could clear the runway for incoming traffic. During the start-up, the engine compartment caught fire. All three occupants egressed the airplane. During the egress, the student pilot received minor injuries. The airplane continued to burn until it was destroyed.
The wreckage was inspected by an FAA aviation safety inspector from Salt Lake City, Utah. According to the inspector (complete statement attached):
... it was noted that the main fuel line to the finger strainer in the carburetor was off. It was not attached to the fitting at the carburetor, and outside of being very sooty from the fire, did not appear to be damaged. The threads were [intact] on both the line and the fitting to the carburetor.... This was the only item that was observed to be disconnected that was not burned or damaged.
An examination of the engine maintenance log from the accident airplane revealed an entry dated February 16, 1996, eight days prior to the accident. This was the last entry in the log. The entry (copy of excerpt attached) read:
Removed fuel strainer bowl & inspected screen. Reinstalled. Removed [carburetor] finger screen [and] inspected [and] reinstalled.... Engine run [and] leak checks OK at oil [and] fuel screens.
According to the Director of Maintenance for Great Western Aviation, Inc., a part-time mechanic had performed the maintenance as a result of complaints by pilots regarding engine roughness. After the aforementioned maintenance was performed, the airplane had accumulated about 5 hours of flight time until the accident.