Prior to the flight, the pilot fueled the airplane with 16 gallons of jet fuel. He planned to make two local flights carrying skydivers aloft. During the second skydiving flight, he delayed releasing the skydivers due to traffic in the area. As he turned the airplane back toward the drop zone, the airplane’s engine experienced a total loss of power.
The pilot reported that he was descending to land after his final flight of the day. The airplane was about 1,500 to 1,700 feet above ground level and about 1.25 miles from the airport when the engine lost total power. The pilot made an emergency landing to an open field, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot stated that he was descending the airplane from an altitude of 8,000 feet after releasing skydivers. During the descent, at an altitude of about 3,000 feet, the airplane’s door opened and contacted the underside of the wing. The pilot slowed the airplane and attempted to close the door but noticed that the door had warped and that the window was missing.
While landing, the airplane touched down short of the runway, the left main landing gear impacted the edge of the runway and collapsed, and the airplane departed the edge of the runway into a culvert. The airplane’s left wing sustained substantial damage.
On August 9, 2011, about 1714 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182, N8718T, landed in a field while on approach to Boulder Municipal Airport (KBDL). The aircraft was substantially damaged and came to rest after striking a tree on the north side of the field.
The pilot stated that he fueled the airplane for two flights with skydivers and thirty minutes of reserve fuel. He further stated that during the second approach he had to adjust his intended flight path for other airplane traffic. Then, as the pilot decreased the pitch of the airplane on final approach, the engine sputtered and lost power.
According to the pilot, as he taxied the airplane to the runway for takeoff, the left main landing gear collapsed. Examination revealed that the left main landing gear had fractured and completely separated from the airplane about 6 inches outboard of its attachment point at the airframe.
The pilot of the skydiving airplane was performing the first takeoff of the day, and he had just raised the landing gear when the airplane experienced a complete loss of power in one of its two engines. There was still runway remaining, and the pilot made the decision to abort the takeoff.
During takeoff the airplane, which was taking off for a parachute jump, collided with trees lining the side of the grass runway. The pilot said that a previous flight that day had been uneventful. During the accident takeoff he said he heard a “pop” at rotation and the airplane pulled to the left.
The pilot received an unsafe landing gear indication for the left main landing gear when he configured the airplane for landing. He cycled the gear and then attempted a manual extension, both without success. The pilot then completed the landing on the nose and right main landing gear. A post accident examination of the left main landing gear actuator revealed that the supports for the actuator bearings lacked lubrication and that the bearings displayed wear due to inadequate lubrication.
The pilot flew four skydiving flights without refueling. On the last flight, after the skydivers exited the airplane, the pilot initiated a descent and the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot knew he could not make it back to the airport and made a forced landing to a gravel area.
The airplane had not been flown for about 5 months and the purpose of the accident flight was a maintenance test flight after both engines had been replaced with higher horsepower models. Witnesses observed the airplane depart and complete two uneventful touch-and-go landings. The airplane was then observed to be struggling to gain altitude and airspeed while maneuvering in the traffic pattern.