PKBWL report – Accident, Cessna C-182L Skylane (D-EDYP), Jelenia Góra (EPJG), 25/06/2023

On 25th June 2023, individual and tandem parachute jumps were performed from a Cessna C-182L aeroplane operating from the Jelenia Góra aerodrome (EPJG). In the third flight, the jumpers left the aircraft at 3000 m AGL over Góra Szybowcowa in Jeżów Sudecki. The aeroplane pilot performed a descent to the north of the EPJG, entering the right circuit to RWY 28, following which he commenced a long and low approach. While configuring the aeroplane for landing, the pilot realised that the engine had stalled and did not respond to throttle movements. In order to extend his range in a gliding flight, the pilot retracted the flaps and continued the flight towards the aerodrome. At ca. 700 m before the runway threshold, the aeroplane caught on a tree with its left wing. It lost its forward speed and, making an uncontrolled ¾ horizontal turn, hit an earthen embankment flat and vertically at 13:15 hrs LMT. After that, it fell into a water reservoir, which was ca. 1 m deep, located within a water intake for the City of Jelenia Góra. The aeroplane’s wings and tail protruded above the water surface, whereas the cabin was flooded and the engine was completely submerged.

The pilot got out of the cabin on his own. Apart from grazes on his head, arm and back, the pilot did not sustain any other visible external injuries, although he complained about a strong pain in his spine. He was taken to hospital for diagnostic examination. Tests demonstrated that the pilot had not been under the influence of alcohol or narcotic drugs.

Cause of the occurrence:
The immediate cause of the engine stall was fuel starvation.
The accident (the collision with obstacles on the ground) was caused by the pilot’s unawareness of the engine stall in flight (the propeller was only windmilling) and the incorrectly executed approach (too low, too flat) which prevented reaching the aerodrome in gliding flight.

Contributing factors:
1) The pilot’s inexperience in flying the Cessna C-182L;
2) The pilot’s inexperience in flights combined with carrying parachute jumpers, including his ignorance of a good practice that suggests execution of the final at a height that guarantees reaching the landing site without engine support;
3) The pilot’s exhaustion after a sleepless night preceding the day of the accident;
4) Chaotic organisation of flights for the purpose of parachute jumps.

PKBWL’s decision:
Acting pursuant to art. 135 item 6 of the Act of 3 July 2002 on the Aviation Law (as amended), the PKBWL has decided to discontinue further investigation into the occurrence concerned for the following reasons:
1) the jump organiser did not hold the Air Operator Certificate for commercial SPO operations, i.e. parachute jumps, including in tandem;
2) the aeroplane was operated under undocumented rules and in conflict with the rules on operating aircraft in specialised operations.

Steps taken:
The Commission has notified the President of the Polish Civil Aviation Authority of a suspected violation of Article 211(10)(a) of the Aviation Law Act and has submitted this Resolution to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Jelenia Góra.

Read the report.

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