LAX02LA181
LAX02LA181

On May 30, 2002, at 1130 mountain standard time, a Cessna 182P, N79107, struck trees after making a precautionary landing at the Grapevine Airport (51AZ), Roosevelt, Arizona, after experiencing a complete loss of electrical power. The airplane was rented from Arizona Flyers, Inc., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane sustained substantial damage when it veered off the runway and struck trees. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that departed the Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott Airport (PRC), Prescott Arizona, about 1045 the morning of the accident. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the Tucson International Airport (TUS), Tucson, Arizona.

In the pilot's written statement he indicated that the flight originated at TUS about 0700. He was going to PRC for business and breakfast. The flight arrived at PRC about 0900 that morning. No discrepancies were noted during that portion of the flight.

Prior to departure from PRC, the pilot checked his fuel and estimated that he had more than enough for the return flight to TUS. He stated that the temperature was starting to rise and he was concerned about density altitude and the airplane's ability to climb with four people on board. Due to those factors he chose not to refuel. The pilot reported that density altitude affected the takeoff and climb-out. He noted that he had to fly runway heading for "some time as I was climbing so slowly."

He obtained flight following from Albuquerque Center (ABQ) and set a direct course for Lake San Carlos. The pilot stated that the flight back was "troublesome;" he had trouble maintaining both altitude and course. He also reported that ABQ center was having a hard time receiving radio transmissions from him.

The pilot thought that there might be a problem with his headset microphone instead of the yoke button. He then attempted to use the handheld microphone; however, things were "quickly" deteriorating. He noted that the engine temperature instruments went all the way to the left. Simultaneously ABQ center stated that they could no longer hear him and asked him to "ident" if he could hear them. He complied; ABQ center subsequently gave him another frequency to contact another controller. The pilot reported that he was unable to contact anyone.

The pilot stated that he knew the engine was independent of the electrical system. However, he decided to make a precautionary landing at Grapevine because it was close to his current position. The next closest airport was Globe, but it would require him to fly over a mountain range. He did not want to take the chance of the engine quitting while attempting to cross the mountains when he "had a perfectly good strip" prior to the mountain range.

He circled the strip to lose altitude and decided to land to the south because it appeared to be "up-hill." He turned downwind and did a "GUMPS" check, and put in 10 degrees of flaps. The pilot thought his approach at this point was normal. When he turned base, he added 20 degrees of flaps, and made the appropriate airspeed corrections. He noted that his airspeed was 100 mph, and added full flaps. The pilot stated that he did not "feel the [telltale] response of the [air]plane," and looked out the window to check the flaps. He stated that the flaps had not deployed. At this point the airplane was on short final. He decided to land and not attempt a go-around.

The pilot reported that he tried to bleed off airspeed by staying just above the runway and pulling back a little on the yoke. However, when he did that the airplane would start to climb. He got the airplane back down and touched down about a third of the way down the strip. The pilot stated that there were a "couple of light bounces" and that the landing roll was very fast. He tried to gently "nudge" the brakes. The pilot stated that the brakes may have locked up, or due to too much adrenaline, he may have applied the brakes too hard. The airplane veered to the left of the strip and the airplane struck a tree.

The airplane's braking system was inspected by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector. He stated that there were no mechanical anomalies noted with the brake system.

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