ERA11LA015
ERA11LA015

On October 10, 2010, about 1210 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172SP, N423FT, performed an emergency landing next to a roadway and nosed over in a canal near Boynton Beach, Florida. The airplane had departed Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with a destination of Palm Beach County Airpark (LNA), West Palm Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The certificated private pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The flight was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that responded to accident location reported that the airplane came to rest in a canal inverted and that the pilot reported to him "the engine quit." Examination of the airplane revealed compression on all cylinders and the cockpit fuel mixture knob was in the extended, or "FUEL SHUT-OFF" position.

According to a written statement by the pilot, he had rented the airplane in order to practice maneuvers and "build time" towards his commercial pilot certificate. After departing from FXE he had flown to a local practice area and was enroute to LNA to practice touch and go landings before returning to FXE. While enroute to LNA the engine "started running rough, then the engine quit." He located an open area and upon landing, impacted a road sign, and the airplane nosed over coming to rest inverted in a canal.

When the airplane was recovered from the canal, the recovery company extracted approximately 25 total gallons of fuel from the fuel tanks. According to photographs provided to the Safety Board, the fuel selector valve was in the "BOTH" position.

According to the pilot, operator, and FAA records, the pilot, age 48, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single- and multiengine land. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on September 27, 2010 and his most recent flight review was conducted on September 30, 2010 in the same make and model as the accident airplane. A review of the pilot's flight logbook revealed 204.2 hours of flight experience in airplane single-engine land; however, and exact flight experience could not be accurately determined.

According to documentation provided by the operator, the airplane's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on August 21, 2010, and was equipped with a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine. The engine had 3,778 total hours of time in service, had 225 hours of time in service since overhaul, and had 75 flight hours since its most recent inspection.

Examination of the airplane by a Safety Board investigator was conducted on November 23, 2010. The examination revealed that the right fuel pick up/supply line was partially clogged; however, it could not be determined if it had occurred during the recovery process. The fuel selector valve worked correctly when tested and the fuel cut off system worked correctly. The fuel gascolator was examined and revealed a blue fluid present with traces of water deposits. The engine was examined and the left and right magneto would not produce spark when rotated by hand. All four cylinders had compression when checked utilizing the thumb compression technique. Fuel was observed being pumped out from the disconnected fuel supply line when the propeller was rotated. The electric fuel pump operated normally and fuel was observed at each of the cylinder injectors, when placed in the "ON" position when 24 volts was applied to the airplane's external power supply. Other than the magnetos not producing spark, no other abnormalities were noted that would have prevented the engine from normal operation.

The left and right magnetos were removed and tested at a local facility on November 30, 2010. The examination revealed that both magnetos operated and produced spark at each of their respective towers, after the surface corrosion was removed from the points.

The fuel injector servo was examined at the National Transportation Safety Board's Material Laboratory. The pin linking the two diaphragms was intact and the diaphragm assembly moved freely. No other damage or blockage of the fuel servo was observed.

The 1153 recorded weather at West Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Florida, located approximately 8 miles from the accident location, included winds from 060 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 4,000 feet above ground level, temperature 29 degrees C, dew point 16 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.00 inches of mercury.

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