Dec. 16, Umpire, Ark. / Cessna 182 Skylane


At approximately 11:30 CST, a Cessna 182 lost power while climbing near Umpire. The pilot was not injured. The flight originated from Mena, Ark., at 11:15 and was en route to Lafayette, La. The pilot reported that, about 15 minutes after takeoff from the Mena Airport, he felt slight vibrations and a noise which became increasingly louder. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power and the pilot maneuvered the airplane over wooded, hilly terrain toward an open field. The airplane struck power lines with the nose gear and the pilot landed in the field. The nose gear collapsed, causing the forward fuselage and firewall to buckle. Preliminary examination of the engine by a FAA airworthiness inspector revealed that a connecting rod from the engine had failed and penetrated the engine case near the #6 cylinder. The airplane had been in Mena for complete exterior painting. After the work was completed, the pilot was hired to ferry the airplane back to Lafayette.


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