HISTORY OF FLIGHT Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
On December 3, 2000, about 1526 hours Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182J, N182DD, nosed over during landing at the Paradise Skypark (uncontrolled) Airport, Paradise, California, about 12 miles east of Chico, California. The airplane was operated by Skydive in Paradise under 14 CFR Part 91. The accident occurred following the pilot's release of his three skydive passengers into a nearby drop zone. The airplane was substantially damaged during the forced landing when it impacted terrain short of the runway and nosed over. The private pilot was seriously injured. The flight originated from Paradise about 1500.
The pilot reported that at 12,000 feet mean sea level (msl) after the jumpers exited the airplane, he commenced a descent with the intention of returning to the departure airport. He closed the cowl flaps and turned on the engine's carburetor heat. At 8,000 feet msl the engine began to surge. The surging continued until the airplane turned onto the final approach leg whereupon all power was lost.
A ground-based witness, located about 1/2 mile north of the accident site, reported that he observed the airplane enter the traffic pattern and nothing unusual was noted. The witness next observed the airplane on short final approach to runway 35. The airplane was low to the ground, and its wings rocked left and right. Then, the airplane disappeared from his view and evidently impacted the ground.
The airplane owner indicated that he had jumped from the airplane during the flight, and he was not aware of any problems with the airplane. He estimated that, at departure, the airplane should have had about 10 gallons of fuel on board.
The airplane's owner subsequently went to the crash site. He stated that it looked as though the airplane had impacted the upsloping terrain about 10 feet below the runway's elevation.
An examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane's initial point of impact (IPI) was about 100 feet south of runway 35. The runway has a 150-foot displaced threshold. The total distance between the IPI and the threshold is about 250 feet.
In the pilot's accident report, he indicated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that his total pilot flight time was about 1,905 hours. During the previous 90-day period, he had not flown any aircraft. The pilot also indicated that his last biennial flight review was accomplished on April 29, 1998. This was about 29 months prior to the accident flight.
In the airplane owner's accident report, he indicated his belief that the pilot held a Commercial Pilot certificate. Also, he indicated that the pilot had a total of about 4,000 hours of flight time.
On an application for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certificate dated February 19, 1996, the pilot reported to the FAA that his total pilot time was 1,680 hours. Also, he had flown 4 hours during the previous 6 months.
On a subsequent application dated May 3, 2000, the pilot reported to the FAA that his total pilot time was 8,100 hours, and he had flown 25 hours during the previous 6 months. Additionally, the pilot indicated that he possessed a Commercial Pilot certificate.
According to the FAA, no record exists of the pilot holding any level of United States airman certificate other than that of a Private Pilot.
AIRPLANE, WRECKAGE, AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The airplane owner reported that he did not possess any insurance for his airplane. The airplane was not equipped with a shoulder harness for the pilot. The parachute jumpers who were carried on board paid a fee to his company for the jump ride.
The FAA and a representative from the Cessna Aircraft Company examined the airplane. The FAA inspector verbally reported to the Safety Board investigator that no evidence of a chronological listing for accomplished airworthiness directives was noted in the airplane's maintenance records. One of the main landing gear tires was "completely" bald. His examination of the propeller revealed little rotational impact evidence.
The airplane's owner reported to the Safety Board investigator that no mechanical malfunctions or failures occurred with the airplane during the accident flight. The engine had been operated for about 2,800 hours since last receiving a major overhaul. One quart of oil was added to the engine every 2 to 3 flight hours. A mixture of automotive gasoline and aviation fuel was used in the airplane.
The Cessna Aircraft Company representative reported that no evidence of any placard was noted indicating that automotive fuel had been authorized by the FAA for use in the airplane. Based upon its reconstruction of the fuel load carried during the accident flight and the fuel burn off rates, at the time of the crash the approximate quantity of fuel on board was 4.4 gallons.
The Cessna representative further reported that the airplane was equipped with 32.5-gallon capacity bladder fuel tanks, capable of holding a total of 65 gallons of fuel. The total usable fuel, for all flight conditions, is 60 gallons. Unusable fuel for each tank is 2.5 gallons, or a total of 5 gallons.