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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN15LA333
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 01, 2015 in Watertown, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/17/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 182, registration: N1685R
Injuries: 1 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 private pilot was planning to conduct some practice takeoffs and landings. The pilot reported that he conducted a normal preflight and that the airplane had about 75 gallons of fuel on board. Shortly after takeoff and while on the base leg to the runway, the engine lost power. The pilot pushed the throttle, mixture, and prop levers full forward and then turned the auxiliary fuel pump on, but the engine did not respond. The airplane subsequently impacted trees near a residence and then came to rest on its right side.
On-scene examination revealed that the left wing’s fuel bladder tank appeared intact but that it was absent of fuel and that the right wing’s bladder tank was torn and contained about 2 gallons of fuel. However, the examination was unable to determine the quantity of fuel that may have leaked out after the fuel system was compromised during the accident. An engine test run was conducted, and the engine started and ran with no abnormalities noted. A review of the carburetor icing probability chart indicated that the airplane was operating in weather conditions associated with a serious risk of carburetor ice accumulation at glide power settings. The pilot was on the base leg of the traffic pattern, and he likely reduced engine power to a glide power setting because he was approaching the runway for landing.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The total loss of engine power due to carburetor icing.