The Engine Experienced An RPM Reduction, Followed By A Total Loss Of Engine Power

Location: Pleasant Valley, NY Accident Number: ERA21LA091
Date & Time: December 27, 2020, 15:00 Local Registration: N8311X
Aircraft: Cessna 172 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On December 27, 2020, about 1500 eastern standard time, a Cessna 172C, N8311X, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Pleasant Valley, New York. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

According to the student pilot, after a normal preflight inspection she departed with 27 gallons of fuel and planned to remain in the traffic pattern to practice takeoffs and landings. She deployed partial flaps and carburetor heat on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. Shortly thereafter, the engine experienced an rpm reduction, which was followed by a total loss of engine power during the turn from the base leg to the final approach leg of the traffic pattern. The student pilot performed the emergency checklist and cycled the magnetos, then declared an emergency and performed a forced landing to a wooded area.

The airplane came to rest inverted in swampy terrain amongst trees and sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The airplane was recovered for further examination.