On June 25, 2005, approximately 1215 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182A, N2153G, sustained substantial damage following a forced landing due to a loss of engine power about one-half mile northwest of the Snake River Skydiving Airport (ID92), Star, Idaho. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual. The pilot, sole occupant of the aircraft, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed ID92 about 1150, and was returning to its point of origin when the accident occurred.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that this was his second flight of the day, and that prior to departing the airplane had approximately 20 to 21 gallons of fuel on board. The pilot stated, "I fueled the right wing with approximately 8 gallons of fuel after returning from the first flight of the day. When I dipped the fuel tanks on both sides of the aircraft prior to fueling for the second flight, the left tank indicated approximately 12 gallons and the right tank indicated zero." The pilot further stated that it was not uncommon for the right tank to have little to no fuel after a flight. The pilot stated that after fueling the aircraft he re-dipped both tanks to verify the amount of fuel onboard the aircraft and then departed on runway 24 with three occupants: a camera operator, a female tandem student, and the tandem instructor. The pilot stated, "The last thing I remember about the accident flight was that I commenced my descent with a turn to the right. The power setting was increased to 16 inches of manifold pressure, the propeller set at 2,250 rpm. A Cylinder Head Temperature/Exhaust Gas Temperature (CHT/EGT) gauge was used to monitor CHT temperatures in the descent, and I reconfigured the gauge to read CHT once I deployed the jumpers. The fuel selector was on BOTH and I enriched the mixture about 1/4 turn." The pilot reported that due to the concussion he suffered during the accident, he has no recollection of the event itself or the events (approximately 7 to 10 minutes) immediately prior to the crash. The pilot also related that the airplane contacted a set of power lines prior to impacting the ground. A salvage company, who recovered the airplane four days after the accident, reported that during recovery operations approximately 5 gallons of fuel was drained from the left fuel tank, while the right fuel tank was found to be void of any fuel.

In a telephone interview and in a written report supplied by the operator of the skydiving company, who was also the tandem instructor on the accident flight, the operator stated that he was a certified Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airframe and powerplant mechanic who had owned and maintained the airplane for the past 12 years. The operator stated that he instructed the pilot of the accident flight to fuel the aircraft after each flight to 21 gallons for a load of 3 or 4 people, and to 19 gallons for a load of 2 people. The operator further reported that when the airplane was used for skydiving it would have a minimum of 21 gallons of fuel on board to complete the flight to 10,000 feet msl and back to the field. The operator stated that upon surveying the accident site he noted the throttle, mixture and propeller controls were full forward, the carburetor heat was FULL ON, and the fuel selector was positioned to BOTH. The operator further stated that he estimated the airplane had 10 gallons of fuel remaining on board. The operator also related that prior to impacting the terrain the airplane had impacted a set of transmission wires. The operator reported that subsequent to the accident the pilot told him that he still had no recollection of any of the events specifically pertaining to the accident. (See Attachment #1, Operator's Statement.)

An FAA airworthiness inspector, who traveled to the accident site, reported that on the morning of June 29, 2005, he observed the recovery of the aircraft. The inspector stated that the airplane was at rest inverted on a slope of approximately 20 degrees with the nose of the airplane facing uphill. The engine was completely separated from the airframe, except for a few hoses and small sections of cowling. The inspector stated that after the airplane was righted it was oriented with the nose facing downhill and approximately 15 degrees left wing low due to the topography. The right wing contained approximately 1 to 3 gallons of fuel, while the left wing contained about 5 to 7 gallons of fuel. The inspector stated that these estimates were subjective due to the attitude of the airplane at the time. The inspector requested the salvage company drain the remaining fuel into a container for future evaluation and measurement. The inspector also reported that on June 29th he personally spoke with and interviewed the videographer who was on the accident flight. The videographer reported to the inspector that he had performed a video jump from the aircraft just prior to the accident and that he had personally observed the pilot fuel the aircraft prior to (the accident) flight. The videographer further reported that he had also observed [the pilot] "stick" the tanks, although he stated that he did not know how much fuel [the pilot] had on or what his "stick" readings were. (See Attachment #2, FAA Inspector's Statement of June 29, 2005.)

The inspector reported that on July 22, 2005, he again spoke with the videographer regarding the interview which took place on June 29th. The inspector reported that during the second interview the videographer stated that he observed the pilot "stick" the fuel tanks but did not observe him fueling the aircraft prior to the accident flight. The inspector stated, "I questioned him since he had previously stated to me that he had personally observed the pilot fuel the aircraft, but he now stated that he had never made that statement, and that he had only stated that he had observed the pilot 'stick' the tanks. He went on to state that this was the second flight of the morning for the aircraft, but was his first flight. He stated that he had slept in that morning and that when he arrived at the aircraft he observed the pilot 'sticking' the tanks, but that he did not observe him fueling. I clearly remember him stating to me on the morning of June 29, 2005, that he had definitely watched the pilot both fuel and stick the tanks on N2153G just prior to the accident flight." (See Attachment #3, FAA Inspector's Statement of July 22, 2005.)

On July 22, 2005, under the supervision of an FAA airworthiness inspector, the airplane's engine was started and test run three times. Due to the impact damage an oil sump, induction system, and carburetor from another engine were installed for the run. The inspector stated the engine appeared to run strong and partial power was obtained.

On September 8, 2005, under the supervision of the IIC, the airplane's carburetor underwent a teardown examination and bench/flow test at the facilities of Precision Airmotive, Marysville, Washington. (See Attachment #4, Precision Airmotive Report, for examination results.)

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