Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.
On 7 January 2018, the pilot of the Cessna 152 departed Jandakot, Western Australia (WA) to conduct aerobatics. The pilot was the only occupant.
At approximately 1412 Western Standard Time (WST) following an aerobatic-loop, the pilot applied power and the engine failed to accelerate. The pilot completed the emergency checklist, but the engine would not accelerate beyond 1900 RPM. The pilot searched for a suitable landing area, finding Lake Walyungup to be suitable. The pilot then made a PAN-PAN and later a MAYDAY radio transmission. The pilot conducted a successful forced landing on the dry surface of the lake.
The aircraft did not sustain any damage as a result of the landing. The post-flight inspection revealed the carburettor to be the cause of the failure. Metal contamination was detected in the carburettor which was likely disturbed during the aerobatics resulting in the partial engine failure. The source of the contaminants could not be identified.
Simulated total loss of power and a subsequent practice forced landing is at the core of a pilot’s emergency training. However, data shows that for light single-engine aircraft a partial power loss is three times more likely to occur than a complete engine failure.
Following the partial engine failure, the pilot in this occurrence had to make important decisions in a short space of time, where to land and how to manage the remaining altitude. The ATSB’s publication and YouTube video ‘Managing partial power loss after take-off in single-engine aircraft’ is available on the ATSB website.
About this report
Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.
|Date:||07 January 2018||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||30 km SW from Jandakot|
|Release Date:||28 March 2018|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Cessna Aircraft Company|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Nil|
|Departure point||Jandakot, WA|