NYC05LA022
NYC05LA022

On November 27, 2004, about 1130 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182E, N1DZ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, following a partial loss of engine power during the initial climb from Duanesburg Airport (4B1), Duanesburg, New York. The certificated commercial pilot and four passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local skydive flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he completed a preflight inspection of the airplane, and boarded four skydivers. After two or three attempts, the engine started and the pilot conversed with the skydivers while the engine warmed up. About 5 minutes after start-up, the engine was running smoothly and the engine gauges were "in the green." The pilot then taxied to runway 10, a 2,600-foot-long, 45-foot-wide, asphalt runway. The pilot performed a successful run-up, and once in position on the runway, performed another magneto check. The takeoff was normal until approximately 500 feet agl, when the engine began to lose partial power. With the remaining engine power, the pilot attempted to return to the airport. During a left turn, the power continued to decrease, and the pilot decided to perform a forced landing on "Route 7." The airplane then landed on the road, struck a car, and came to rest against a berm.

The owner of the airplane stated that he telephoned the jump instructor during the evening prior to the accident, and told him to have the pilot preheat the engine. The owner further stated that the pilot did not preheat the engine, and the elapsed time between engine start and takeoff was less than 5 minutes. The owner further stated that the pilot made an error in judgment to turn back toward the airport when several fields were in front of the airplane.

The pilot-rated jump instructor stated that the temperature was 40 degrees F., and the pilot did not preheat the engine. The pilot had difficulty starting the engine and performed the run-up during the taxi to the runway, with no additional engine warm-up before the takeoff. The jump instructor further stated that the pilot could have landed safely on "Route 88," and that he told the pilot not to turn back toward the airport. Additionally, the pilot-rated jump instructor had flown his "Cherokee" earlier that morning, and it did not require a preheat. However, the jump instructor had to allow his engine to warm up for 10 minutes before he saw any indication of oil temperature.

A second skydiver stated that she asked the jump instructor about preheating the accident airplane's engine, and he replied that the airplane did not need it. The engine started after two or three attempts, but she couldn't remember how long the engine ran before taxi. The ground was soggy, and the pilot taxied out to the runway "fairly quickly," so that the airplane would not get stuck. Upon reaching the west end of the runway, the airplane continued onto the runway and tookoff. The skydiver noticed an engine problem about 300 feet agl.

A third skydiver stated that the engine started after three attempts, and ran for about 3-5 minutes before the taxi and takeoff.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot did not preheat the engine, and performed a "rolling" run-up. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuel tanks remained intact, and appeared to be half-full. Fuel was drained from each fuel tank, and no contamination was observed. When the crankshaft was rotated by hand, crankshaft and camshaft continuity was confirmed. Thumb compression was attained on all cylinders, and the magnetos produced spark at all top spark plugs. In addition, fuel was observed in the fuel lines from the tanks to the gascolator, and the gascolator was absent of contamination. Both propeller blades were curled at the tip. The throttle was found in the idle position, the carburetor heat was off, and the propeller control was near the low pitch position. The flaps and flap control were found in the retracted position.

On March 3, 2005, the engine was test run at the manufacturer's facility under the supervision of an FAA inspector. The engine started on the first attempt, without hesitation. The engine ran continuously for 20 minutes at different power settings.

Review of a Cessna 182 Owner's Manual revealed:

"...Under cold conditions, the warm-up and pre-take-off checks should be lengthened to provide more time to bring the engine up to temperature. This will usually require approximately three minutes warm-up at 800 RPM and an equal amount of time for pre-take-off checks...Rough engine operation in cold weather can be caused by a combination of an inherently leaner mixture due to the dense air and poor vaporization and distribution of the fuel-air mixture to the cylinders..."

The reported temperature at an airport approximately 10 miles northeast of the accident site, at 1145, was 39 degrees F. The reported temperature at 0747 was 28 degrees F.

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