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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133569
Last updated: 4 February 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C170 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 170
Owner/operator:Fremont, Margrette H.
Registration: N3964V
C/n / msn: 18283
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Elk City, ID -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:HLN
Destination airport:S36
Investigating agency: NTSB
On August 24, 1997, about 1700 mountain daylight time, N3964V, a Cessna 170, operated by the owner/pilot, collided with terrain and was destroyed during a forced landing near Elk City, Idaho. The forced landing was precipitated by a total loss of engine power during cruise. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and her two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The personal flight departed from Helena, Montana, about 1430, and was destined for Kent, Washington, with a planned stop in Grangeville, Idaho. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91.

In an interview with the Safety Board (record of interview attached) and in a written statement (attached), the accident pilot stated that when she flew to Helena, Montana, one day prior to the accident, she did not notice any problems with the airplane or engine. She did remember, however, that she thought she may have "picked up some carb ice" a few times as she approached Helena. She noticed a slight change in the engine that was remedied by operating the carburetor heat.

After visiting acquaintances in Helena, the accident pilot arrived at the Helena Airport with her passengers on the following day for the return flight to Kent. She stated that she fueled the airplane and checked the engine oil. She stated that she always checks the oil before every flight. She remembered that the oil level was "lower than full, but about a half a quart over [the specified dip stick oil level] where oil needed to be added." She did not recall exactly how many quarts were in the engine at the time. She stated that she intended on checking the oil again after she arrived in Grangeville, which is also where she also intended on fueling the airplane en route back to Kent. She stated that she did not want to overfill the engine oil level because the excess oil would spew out of the engine.

The pilot stated that after departure from Helena, she flew toward the west over Butte, Montana, and Dillon, Montana. She then noticed that the oil pressure gauge began moving toward zero. The engine immediately began to run rough. She stated that she then heard a "loud bang." She stated that "it all happened very quickly," and that she was "going straight... between 9,500 and 10,000 feet" when the engine failure occurred. She stated that she was not climbing or descending, and that the weather was under visual flight rules. She initiated a forced landing onto a logging road located in rugged, mountainous terrain. She stated that during the landing, she became unconscious at impact. She was later revived by her son and her daughter. The emergency locator transmitter was activated at impact, and all three occupants were rescued the following morning.

Two days after the accident, on August 26, 1997, the wreckage was examined at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector from Spokane, Washington. According to the inspector (report and wreckage diagram attached), the wreckage distribution path was oriented along a magnetic bearing of 030 degrees and was about 330 feet in length. Sheared tree tops were found at the beginning of the wreckage path.

The airplane was found lying on its right side (as viewed aft to forward) on top of its damaged right wing. The left wing remained completely attached to the fuselage; however, the outboard portion of the right wing was sheared off. The flaps were extended to about the 10-degree position. An examination of the cockpit instruments revealed that the tachometer time read 653.66 hours, and the altimeter read 7,546 feet.

The engine, a Continental model C-145-2, was found separated from, and lying adjacent to, the airframe. No evidence of fire damage was found. The windshield was broken outward and a small amount of oil splatter was found on it. Oil splatter was also noted on the engine firewall on its left upper side. Fuel was found on board the airplane. A closer visual inspection


NTSB id 20001208X08754

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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