On February 5, 2001, at 1330 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182L, N42696, sustained substantial damage when the pilot made a forced landing due to a loss of power during initial climb following takeoff from the Freemont County Airport, Canon City, Colorado. The commercial pilot in command received serious injuries and his passenger minor injuries. The flight was a positioning flight flown under Title 14 CFR Part 91 and no flight plan was filed. The intended destination was Buena Vista, Colorado.

According to the pilot, the flight was the first flight following annual inspection of the aircraft. The pilot said that about 200 to 250 feet above ground level following takeoff from runway 29, he noted a power loss of approximately 300 engine revolutions per minute (rpm). He said he checked the fuel selector, mixture control, propeller control, and carburetor heat controls in the correct positions. Due to lack of sufficient power, he made a forced landing straight ahead, and he lost consciousness during the first bounce of the forced landing.

The accident occurred on the property of the Colorado Department of Corrections about 2 statute miles northwest of the Freemont County Airport. The terrain was rough and uneven.

Weather at the time of the accident was clear skies, wind from 230 degrees magnetic at 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots and a density altitude of 6,400 feet.

The nose section of the aircraft was displaced aft and down and the nose landing gear was separated from the aircraft during impact. The propeller was separated at the crankshaft flange. The propeller blades were bent aft at mid-span and bore span-wise scratches. The outer portion of the left wing was crushed aft and the left main landing gear was bent aft. The left main wheel and tire were not found.

The flaps were in the up position and flight control continuity was established. The mixture, propeller control, and carburetor heat controls were full forward and the throttle was about 1 inch from full forward. The fuel selector was in the "both" position and the aircraft was placarded for the use of automotive fuel. The salvage crew removed approximately 30 gallons of greenish brown colored fuel from the wing fuel tanks.

Both front seats were bent forward and down at their attach points, and the lap belts and shoulder harnesses remained attached at their respective anchor points.

Following recovery of the aircraft, the engine was examined at the facilities of Beegles Aircraft Services, Greeley, Colorado. Present for the examination were parties from Cessna Aircraft, Continental Engines, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The engine was forced back into the firewall. The mounts were attached; however, the support tubing was buckled aft and down. The muffler was broken off and the fire cones were in good condition.

The carburetor remained attached. and showed a full rich mixture and full open throttle. The bowl contained fuel which was greenish brown in color. The float was metallic and in good condition. The screens were clear and no evidence of contamination was found in either the carburetor or fuel. The data plate identified the engine as an O-470-R, serial number 132426-6-R. This correlated with information in the aircraft logbook.

The magnetos were Slick Model 6310 and all ignition leads were present and in good condition. The spark plugs were model RHM40E. They were slightly oval shaped and coated with black carbon deposits. According to the Champion Aviation spark plug examination chart, the deposits were indicative of an overly rich mixture.

Thumb compression was present in all cylinders. A check of the annual inspection records provided information that cylinder compression was: #1 - 73/80, #2 - 68/80, #3 - 74/80, #4 - 68/80, #5 - 72/80, #6 - 71/80.

Comparative fuel sample evaluation provided evidence that the fuel was a mixture of automotive and 100 low lead. The mix ratio was not determined. A Supplemental Type Certificate for the use of automotive fuel had been issued.

A review of the annual inspection work order provided no evidence of power plant or propeller discrepancies.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page