WPR11LA062
WPR11LA062

On November 27, 2010, about 1435 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172E airplane, N5582T, sustained substantial damage following a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing near Suisun City, California. The airplane was registered to a private party, and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The airline transport pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight departed Sacramento Executive Airport (SAC), Sacramento, California, at 1345, with a planned destination of Buchanan Field Airport (CCR), Concord, California. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at both the departure and destination airports. No flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that about 11 miles northeast of the airport, while on the approach to runway 19R at CCR, the engine suddenly stopped producing power. He attempted to restart the engine multiple times, however, was unsuccessful and initiated a forced landing to a nearby field; during the landing roll, the airplane encountered rough terrain and nosed over. The airplane came to rest inverted and sustained substantial damage to the firewall, and empennage assembly. First responders reported that no fuel was leaking from the airplane’s fuel tanks after the event.

Recovery personnel reported that the fuel tanks were not breached and minimal damage was observed. Fuel was noted in, and drained from, the fuel lines. During the recovery, it was noted that both wing tank fuel caps were loose from their respective fuel tank filler necks and hanging by their chains. However, no fuel, nor the smell of fuel, was present in the tanks, and no fuel was noted in the immediate area.

The weather conditions reported at Travis Air Force Base (KSUU), located about 8 miles northeast of the accident site, at 1439, indicated wind from 300 degrees at 7 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, broken clouds at 3,100 feet above ground level (agl), and broken clouds at 5,000 feet agl, temperature 12 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 7 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.85 inches of Mercury.

Review of the carburetor icing probability envelope chart included in Federal Aviation Administration Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin No. CE-09-35, revealed that the reported temperature and dew point at the time of the accident was within the "serious icing (cruise power)" area of the chart.

A post accident examination was conducted on the airframe and engine. The exam revealed that all flight control surfaces were in place and control continuity was established. Throttle, mixture and carburetor heat cable control continuity was established and all associated linkages moved freely. The fuel selector valve was found in the “both” position and was intact and undamaged. The fuel strainer did not contain evidence of fuel. All spark plugs were removed and no damage was noted; the electrode areas had normal wear signatures when compared to the Champion check-a-plug chart. The cylinders were boroscoped; all cylinders contained normal combustion deposits and showed no signs of abnormal wear or discoloration. The crankshaft rotated freely by hand; valve continuity and cylinder compression was obtained. The magneto impulse couplings engaged and spark was obtained from each ignition lead. The carburetor was removed and disassembled; the internal components were undamaged and the inlet screen was free of debris.

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