PETERSON/ CHRISTENSEN CESSNA 182 ACCIDENT IN BOUNTIFUL UTAH MAKES NO SENSE ABSENT MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION
Three young beautiful young adults, just beginning their lives are dead in what should have been a no risk simple sightseeing flight and return.
They departed Bountiful Utah at 7 P.M., daylight, to view the church of the Peterson’s marriage by air.
A few minutes later they were dead as the airplane crashed into a mountain that should have been plainly visible.
The winds were very light only about 3 knots, the temperature was a hot 90 degrees and the conditions were visual flight rules.
They were flying an old Cessna 182H, built in 1965, and owned by J. Parker Christensen, a new pilot.
Kallie was an experienced pilot who had just been hired by the airlines to start training in November.
The Cessna 182 is a simple airplane to fly when everything works.
The mountains around Bountiful are high around 9,000 feet or more. There were some showers above the mountains that day.
The airplane has a carbureted engine and given the density altitude (about 8000 feet), temperature and the showers, any loss of power would make the airplane incapable of climbing above the peaks or even making it back to the airport.
A careful examination of the ADS-B data showing altitudes, rates of climb and airspeed demonstrate that the climb rate and airspeed was as expected given the weather, loading and age of the airplane but airspeed slowed in an obvious attempt by the pilot to keep climbing as the aircraft passed about 7200 feet above sea level. That occurred either because this normally aspirated aircraft simply ran out of climb capability or the carburetor simply could not keep up with the engine’s power needs.
This should never have happened. There was enough talent, experience and knowledge in that aircraft.
It was well below its gross weight.
Something else caused this accident.
We hope the families are able to learn what the cause was and The Wolk Law Firm can help.
Arthur Alan Wolk