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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR15LA014
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 16, 2014 in Big Bear, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N612SP
Injuries: 3 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight during daytime visual meteorological conditions over mountainous terrain. He reported that, about 30 minutes into the flight, the engine began to lose power. The airplane descended into a box canyon, and the pilot then attempted to maneuver the airplane to initiate a 180-degree turn out of the canyon toward lower terrain. The airplane continued to descend, and the stall warning horn sounded, so the pilot decided to land in trees.
First responders reported that the wing fuel tanks were breached and that fuel had drained out through holes in the wings. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any preexisting mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the partial loss of engine power could not be determined.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.