ATL05CA019
ATL05CA019

On November 2, 2004, at 1941 eastern standard time, N4874G, a Cessna 172N, registered to and operated by Pegasus Air LLC, collided with power lines and the ground following a loss of engine power in Columbia, South Carolina. The personal flight was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot received serious injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on November 2, 2004, at 1810.

According to a passenger on a previous flight in the airplane on the same day, the pilot rented the airplane from the operator in Statesboro, Georgia to fly the passenger and his wife from Barnwell, South Carolina to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The passenger stated that the airplane arrived at Barnwell on the afternoon of November 2, 2004, they departed at 1610, and the flight was unremarkable. He stated that upon arriving in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at 1800, the local FBO was closed, and the pilot stated that he would stop to get fuel in Columbia, South Carolina, on the return flight.

According to the Columbia Air Traffic Controller, the pilot declared a "mayday" at 4,500 feet, 17 miles northeast of Columbia Metropolitan Airport. He stated that he acknowledged, and the pilot stated that his engine quit and he was going to land in a parking lot. The airplane collided with power lines and the ground 16 miles north of Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

A review of records on file with Pegasus Air, LLC revealed the airplane was refueled on October 31, 2004, topped off with 17.8 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel. The airplane was not flown again until November 2, 2004, by the accident pilot.

The examination of the airplane at the accident site revealed the firewall and the fuselage were buckled, the nose landing gear was displaced aft into the engine compartment, and the leading edges of both wings were buckled. The post-accident examination of the fuel system revealed no fuel in either wing fuel tank, trace amounts of fuel in the fuel strainer, and trace amounts of fuel in the fuel line from the fuel strainer to the carburetor. A functional check of the engine was accomplished and it started and produced power at idle and 1000 RPM for several minutes. No mechanical anomalies were observed.

According to the C-172N Pilot 's Operating Handbook, the standard wing fuel tanks have a capacity of 43 gallons, of which 40 gallons is usable fuel. It states the cruise fuel consumption at maximum gross weight, in standard conditions, with recommended lean mixture at 4,500 feet ranges from 7 to 8.5 gallons per hour. On the same day of the accident the pilot also completed a total of three takeoffs on the same fuel load. At 75 % engine power, the airplane has a fuel endurance of 3.9 hours.

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