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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133672
Last updated: 23 November 2019
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Date:16-AUG-1998
Time:22:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic C177 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 177
Owner/operator:Gary Suozzi
Registration: N177GS
C/n / msn: 17700955
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Los Angeles, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Private
Departure airport:SBA
Destination airport:SMO
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On August 16, 1998, at 2215 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 177, N177GS, was destroyed when it collided with a utility pole and trees during an emergency off-airport landing following loss of engine power at Los Angeles, California. The aircraft was on an instrument approach to the Santa Monica Municipal Airport. The airline transport licensed pilot and one passenger received minor injuries and two passengers sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed Santa Barbara, California about 2100.

A flight instructor who lives near the accident site was driving nearby in his car when he heard the plane crash. He was the first person to respond to the accident site on a school athletic field, and passed a female passenger who was getting help for the other three occupants of the aircraft. When he reached the aircraft the three were just getting out of the aircraft. There was fluid on the ground and he was very concerned about fire and explosion danger and encouraged the pilot, who was attending to an injured female passenger, to move her away in case of fire. The pilot said, "it's not fuel." He smelled the liquid and believed it to be water. He reported he saw no fuel at the site and there was no fuel smell.

A security guard at a nearby grocery store was among the first people to reach the accident before emergency vehicles arrived. He said one male, who was sitting about 20 feet from the wreckage and had facial cuts, told him that they had run out of fuel and crashed.

A checker/clerk at the same grocery store held the hand of a female passenger and tried to comfort her at a location behind the store while paramedics attended to her. According to the clerk, the paramedics asked what happened to cause the accident and the passenger replied that they had run out of fuel while on approach to the airport.

According to the manager of the same grocery store, when the police arrived they were concerned about a fire and explosion danger and ordered everyone away from the aircraft. The man who was attending to the injured female told them "there's no fuel spilled," and then "there's no fuel".

Two witnesses reported that they observed the aircraft approach very low and was completely quiet. It made a steep, abrupt U-turn toward the schoolyard and there was a bright flash when the aircraft severed the power lines.

Another witness looked east from his home to see an aircraft approaching on the normal approach course to Santa Monica but very low. He thought it was about half the normal altitude. As he watched the wings "fluttered" and the aircraft entered a steep, sharp turn to the south. The wings appeared to be straight up and down and the aircraft was in a steep descent. He lost sight of the aircraft at tree level. He went to the accident site and was the second person to reach it. One man was seated a few feet away and was dizzy. The pilot was tending to the injuries of a female passenger. He asked the pilot what happened and the pilot replied he lost power. This witness recalled that he had thought it odd that he didn't smell any gas.

An inspector from the Los Angeles Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) arrived at the accident site approximately 1 hour after the accident and reported that there was no perceptible fuel smell in the area. The FSDO inspector also reported that the fire department battalion chief said that there was no fuel present when they arrived within 15 minutes of the accident.

The pilot told the Safety Board investigator that he did not add any fuel during his trip, which departed from Santa Monica and landed at Camarillo and Santa Barbara before returning to Santa Monica. They were executing the VOR A approach to runway 21 at Santa Monica when the engine ceased delivering power abruptly and without warning. He descended on the approach course but when he broke out of the clouds it was obvious they were not going to be able to glide to

Sources:

NTSB id 20001211X10888


Revision history:

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

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