June 20, San Diego, Calif. / Cessna 172M


At 22:20 PDT, a Cessna 172M suffered electrical failure and made a forced landing in a parking lot at MCAS Miramar. The rented aircraft was substantially damaged and the pilot was seriously injured. The pilot had left Montgomery Field in San Diego, intending to fly a VOR-A approach into Oceanside, proceed to McClellan-Palomar, then return to Montgomery. He received a clearance to execute the approach at Oceanside, then informed the controller he had lost his VOR and would remain VFR and return to Montgomery for landing. While the aircraft was en route to Montgomery the controller lost radar contact and a few moments later lost radio contact. The controller observed a primary target proceeding on a southbound heading in the vicinity of Miramar, and then lost the primary target. The pilot told investigators that he became lost, his low voltage light was on, and he could not contact anyone on the radio. He reported that he turned off the aircraft lights to keep the battery from running down and was using a flashlight to read the instrument panel. The pilot stated that he did not believe he would make it back to Montgomery and made a forced landing in the Miramar parking lot. The aircraft came to rest inverted after striking a cement wall.


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