He Heard A Sound That Resembled A Gun Shot And Immediately Observed The Propeller Stop Rotating

Location: Lodi, CA Accident Number: WPR21LA121
Date & Time: March 3, 2021, 12:20 Local Registration: N60290
Aircraft: Cessna 150J Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On March 3, 2021, about 1220 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 150 airplane, N60290, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Lodi, California. The instructor and pilot receiving instruction were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the pilot receiving instruction, he had recently purchased the accident airplane, and this was his first flight with a new instructor. They departed the airport uneventfully and climbed to their cruise altitude, 3,000 ft mean sea level. The pilot receiving instruction donned an instrument instruction tool at 200 ft above ground level. Once they reached cruise altitude, the pilot reduced power to 2,450 rpm, applied carburetor heat, and leaned the fuel/air mixture to achieve best rpm. He followed the airplane’s cruise checklist and scanned the engine instruments but did not observe any anomalies as each instrument was reporting normal operation. Approximately 5 minutes later he heard a sound that resembled a gun shot and immediately observed the propeller stop rotating. The instructor took control of the airplane and announced “my controls” while the pilot searched for a suitable place to  land and made an attempt to restart the engine that was unsuccessful. Although they were surrounded by fields, their options for suitable landing sites were limited due to trees or other obstacles. They subsequently landed in a field and encountered rough and uneven terrain.

Photographs of the airplane taken by local law enforcement showed substantial damage to the wings and empennage. The airplane was retained for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov