Cessna 177 RG Plane Crash Tallapoosa, GA
- On November 26, 2011, a Cessna 177 RG (with a Lycoming IO 360 engine) crashed when the engine lost power in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Prior to the crash, the pilot contacted ATC to declare an emergency due to low engine oil pressure.
tragedy is reminiscent of another Cessna engine failure case involving a
similar Lycoming engine.
Kreindler & Kreindler investigates a recent Cessna 177 crash in Georgia, which is reminiscent of a
recent engine failure case the firm successfully prosecuted.
November 26, 2011, a Cessna 177 RG, registration number N5AW, lost engine power
and collided with trees in a field in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Tragically, all on
board were killed. The flight departed Knoxville’s Downtown Island Airport
(DKX), Knoxville, Tennessee, destined for Northwest Florida Beaches International
Airport (ECP), Panama City, Florida. The aircraft was built in 1972 and
equipped with a Lycoming IO 360 engine.
to the FAA and NTSB, the pilot was in cruise flight at 4,000 feet and contacted
ATC to declare an emergency due to low engine oil pressure. The pilot requested
radar vectors to the nearest airport but later advised the controller that he
was unable to make it and was going to land in a field. Shortly thereafter, radar contact was lost, and there were no other radio transmissions.
of the wreckage by the NTSB revealed that the fuselage and engine were
terrible tragedy is reminiscent of another Cessna engine failure case
(involving a similar Lycoming engine) prosecuted by Kreindler partners Brian
Alexander and Steven Pounian. In that case, a seasoned instructor pilot
experienced a loss of engine oil pressure and eventually a total loss of engine
power, which forced him to make an emergency landing. The pilot heroically
avoided nearby buildings, but the aircraft lacked sufficient power to get to a
safe landing area and was forced to crash in a wooded area. The post-crash fire
was horrific, and as in this case, the engine was consumed by fire. The NTSB
conducted an investigation but was unable to determine the cause of the engine
power loss. Not dissuaded by the NTSB’s lack of results, Kreindler attorneys
hired a veteran engine expert and one of the country’s foremost metallurgists
to conduct an independent investigation. Even though the fire damage had
destroyed much of the evidence, we quickly zeroed in on the engine’s carburetor
as the source of the engine power loss. We also seized upon an important legal
concept known as the “mere malfunction doctrine,” which enabled us to
prevail despite the lack of physical evidence using a combination of
circumstantial evidence (of a carburetor failure) combined with proof that no
other cause could explain the engine failure. After a lengthy litigation battle, we obtained a very successful settlement with the carburetor manufacturer.
technical and legal acumen to prevail in cases where the critical evidence is
destroyed by fire or impact forces. Kreindler & Kreindler has the skill,
expertise and commitment to take on tough cases and win. If you have questions
concerning this or any other aviation accident, contact us and speak with a
partner at the firm.