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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 6869
Last updated: 6 April 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 172E
Registration: N5678T
C/n / msn: 17251578
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:El Cajon, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Douglas, AZ
Destination airport:Santee, CA
No engine malfunction found. Some residual fuel left. While still some 6 miles from Gillespie Field, pilot reported loss of power to ATC at 19:15, subsequently reported that he was going down, and attempted to land straight ahead on a knoll in the rugged hills east of El Cajon, CA near the summit of the La Cresta grade. As the pilot began to flare the aircraft at an altitude some 10 feet higher than the top of the knoll, and less than 100 feet distant from the intended touch-down point, the nose gear collided with the crossmember on a downhill power pole that would have been difficult to see from the air at dusk. The collision shattered the crossmember, ripped off the nose gear, and cut the power lines, causing the aircraft to stall. Losing some 15 feet of altitude, the aircraft slammed down and came to an abrupt stop---right side up, cross-wise and facing west---on, then unpaved, Al Bahr ("the ocean" in Arabic) Road, which had been cut into the east side of the knoll. The pilot survived the crash landing, but not the ensuing fire, which completely destroyed the wing roots and the fuselage from the instrument panel to the baggage compartment bulkhead. Only damage to Cont. O-300 engine was a bent prop mounting flange on crankshaft. Though NTSB did not speculate as to the cause of power loss, it may have involved carburetor icing, a problem that the pilot had experienced on at least one prior occasion.


NTSB, as well as personal examination of crash scene the following day and discussions with pilot several weeks prior to the crash

Revision history:

25-Feb-2008 12:00 ASN archive Added
24-Oct-2013 08:44 angusfox3 Updated [Operator, Phase, Nature, Departure airport]
21-Feb-2016 09:28 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
23-Feb-2016 20:14 Angus Fox III Updated [Source, Narrative]

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