Engine Failure Likely Factor in Fatal Missouri Crash

The NTSB released its preliminary report in the November 10, 2015, crash of a Cessna 182Q Skylane in Richmond, Missouri. Sadly, the crash resulted in the death of the aircraft's pilot.

At approximately 7 PM, the aircraft, tail number N96381, was at an altitude of 3200 feet and receiving instructions from Kansas City air traffic control (ATC). Soon after, the pilot indicated "a significant loss of engine power" and requested directions to the nearest airport. The controller directed the pilot to Curtis Field Airport in Richmond, Missouri, about five miles southwest of the aircraft's position. Radar data last showed the plane descending at 1600 feet before contact was lost.

A witness observed the subject aircraft at approximately 500 feet and reported its engine was "spitting." The witness later heard two "thuds" and called the authorities.

Although it was dark, weather was not a factor as skies were clear, with visibility at 10 miles.

FAA records indicate the aircraft was manufactured in 1978 and owned by 96381 Inc. of Ortonville, Michigan. The aircraft had a Continental O-470 Series engine with a 1978 airworthiness date.

The ongoing investigation should examine what caused the reported engine troubles with a particular eye toward any recent maintenance performed on the aircraft engine or related systems.

It is important to understand the legal issues which may affect your rights and recovery in a general aviation case, including the limitations created by the 1994 General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) which may be applicable in cases like this one involving aircraft that are more than 18 years old.

Kreindler & Kreindler LLP specializes in litigation against aircraft owners, manufacturers, and mechanics. If you have any questions concerning this accident, please contact us.

Kreindler & Kreindler partners, Brian Alexander, Justin Green, and Dan Rose will be monitoring the investigation.