The pilot reported that he departed for a parachute jump flight with 12 gallons of fuel onboard. He added that, after the parachute jumpers exited the airplane about 10,500 ft mean sea level (msl), he initiated a left spiraling descent back to the airport. He further added that he “heard and felt the engine start [to] quiet down as if it was shutting down.” He then began to make right descending turns and verified that the fuel selector was in the “both” position. He added that the cylinder head temperature was decreasing, so he switched back to left descending turns and that the “fuel starvation due to banking happened two more times.”
The pilot reported that on the morning of the flight he used a fuel dipstick to check fuel tank quantities prior to his flight. The fuel tank dipstick was marked in the number of skydiving flights and reserve fuel had a mark as well. The right tank showed a higher fuel quantity than the left and when combined, the stick showed enough fuel for three flight loads of jumpers. He further stated that he fueled the airplane up to the “four load” level five days prior to the accident flight, which was the last time the airplane was flown.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector that arrived at the scene shortly after the accident, he located the uninjured pilot in command (PIC) and a passenger rated pilot who were the only occupants of the airplane. The inspector reported that the PIC told him that he had fueled the airplane prior to the flight. The PIC told the inspector that he had flown 2.5 hours on the right tank which indicated 3.9 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator, at which time he switched to the left tank which indicated 15 gallons of fuel remained per the electronic fuel quantity indicator.
The pilot was on final approach when the engine started to run out of fuel. She said her boss had a similar problem on a previous flight, and had to correct for it by pitching the nose up and down to force fuel into the fuel lines. The pilot recalled pitching the nose up and down but nothing after that.
On September 1, 2013, about 1100 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182 airplane, N6460A, was substantially damaged when the pilot ditched into a lake following a loss of engine power on approach to the Boulder Municipal Airport (BDU), Boulder, Colorado. The pilot sustained minor injuries.
On May 18, 2013, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Cessna model 182C airplane, N9075T, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near the Fremont Municipal Airport (KFFX), Fremont, Michigan.
The pilot was returning to the airport after dropping off parachutists at 9,000 feet. He said that the flight lasted about 30 minutes, and as he turned onto final approach in the traffic pattern, he pulled the throttle back, and the engine lost power. The pilot performed a forced landing in a field, and the airplane struck some power poles lying on the ground, resulting in substantial damage to the airframe.
The pilot stated that he departed the airport for the 15-minute skydiving flight with about 20 gallons of fuel onboard. After completing a jump run, he was returning to the airport and maneuvered the airplane on final approach. When the airplane was about 3 miles from the runway and about 1,200 feet above ground level, the engine experienced a partial loss of power.
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 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.
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 was fueled before the pilot’s first flight that day. A total of 6.0 gallons of fuel were added to each fuel tank. After fueling, the pilot dipped each fuel tank using the provided dipstick, and determined that each tank contained between 7.0 and 7.5 gallons of usable fuel. He then flew one load of skydivers, returned, and attempted to secure the engine for fueling but was pressured by company personnel that he had enough fuel to make the second flight and that he needed to keep the airplane operating.
The pilot flew nine skydiving flights on the day of the accident in the Cessna 182A. Each flight was approximately 30 minutes in duration. The airplane was refueled after approximately every other flight with about 12 gallons of fuel. Prior to takeoff for the tenth and final flight of the day, the pilot thought he had about 16 gallons of fuel in the airplane; however, he did not visually confirm how much fuel was in the tanks and could not remember what the fuel gauges indicated.
The commercial pilot was climbing the airplane with four skydivers aboard when the engine lost power. The pilot told the skydivers to jump when he could not restart the engine, and they all jumped successfully without injury. The pilot made a forced landing short of the departure runway, and the airplane collided with small trees, sustaining substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.
The pilot checked the fuel quantity with a wooden stick and estimated 21 gallons of fuel was onboard for the parachute flight. The takeoff and climb to 10,000 feet msl, and release of the jumpers, was normal. On the return to the airport, while on the turn to base leg, the engine lost power.
The airplane lost engine power and collided with terrain during the forced landing. Prior to the second flight of the day the pilot fueled the airplane’s right wing with approximately 8 gallons of fuel, bringing the total fuel load for the flight to approximately 20 or 21 gallons. The operator of the skydiving operation said that he instructed his pilots to fuel the aircraft after each flight to 21 gallons for a load of 3 or 4 people, and to 19 gallons for a load of 2 people.
The pilot stated that after skydivers exited the aircraft, he began a descent from 10,500 feet msl in the direction of the airport. He stated that upon reaching 2000 feet msl, he enriched the mixture, and the engine lost power. He stated he elected to land on a nearby road. The airplane collided with a pick-up truck and departed the road to the right.
The pilot told an FAA inspector that he had completed an air drop of skydivers at 14,000 feet and was returning to land. During the descent, the engine quit. The pilot initially thought it was due to carburetor ice, but then realized that he ran “out of fuel.” The pilot was forced to land the airplane short of the runway.
Approximately 1 hour into flight, the engine lost all power, and the pilot attempted a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane struck a tree located at the approach end of the field. The pilot initially reported that he departed with 2 inches of fuel in each tank, with the intention of flying 1 hour.