ERA09LA517
ERA09LA517

On September 13, 2009, at 1350 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N734TV, experienced a total loss of engine power while on base leg to land at Twin County Airport (HLX), Hillsville, Virginia. The student pilot received minor injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged during the subsequent forced landing. The flight was operated as an instructional flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Mount Airy/Surry County Airport (MWK), Mount Airy, North Carolina, at 1330.

According to the student pilot, the purpose of the flight was to conduct a solo flight from HLX to MWK, and return to HLX. The pilot stated that the aircraft was fueled at HLX and that she departed with at least 29 gallons of fuel onboard. The pilot said that when she arrived at MWK she made three full stop landings and then proceeded back to HLX as planned. She then entered the downwind leg, applied carburetor heat, and reduced the power to 1,500 rpm. The student pilot went on to say that while on the base leg, the engine stopped, and she subsequently made a forced landing in a field one quarter of a mile from the airport. During the landing roll out the airplane hit a ditch, and flipped over inverted.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane touched down on an uphill grade in a field within one quarter of a mile of the airport. The nose landing gear broke off and the aircraft flipped over within 60 feet of the initial touchdown point. The airframe and flight control system components revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction. Examination of the engine did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions. No fuel contamination was discovered during the examination of the fuel system, and fuel was observed leaking out of the fuel tanks.

The current ambient temperature was 73 degrees Fahrenheit, with a dew point of 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Review of the icing probability chart revealed that the chance of serious icing can occur in this temperature/dew point range.

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