Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 1 Serious. Location: Newberry, Mich. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The airplane was in cruise flight when the pilot detected a “hot electrical” odor in the cockpit.
He decided to return to the airport. While on short final, a large puff of smoke was emitted from under the right side of the instrument panel and distracted the pilot.
About the same time, the airplane encountered convective turbulence so severe that the pilot hit his head on the ceiling and everything that was on the seats was thrown forward.
The airplane entered a nose down attitude and hit the ground in a nose-low attitude before the pilot could take corrective action. The airplane slid about 200 feet before coming to a stop, then caught fire.
The cause of the electrical smell and smoke could not be determined as the fuselage was consumed by the post-impact fire, which likely resulted from fuel lines being ruptured during the impact.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane due to distraction from a combination of smoke in the cockpit and a sudden turbulence encounter while on short final approach. The cause of the cockpit smoke could not be determined due to the extensive damage sustained by the airplane during the post-impact fire.
NTSB Identification: CEN12TA604
This August 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.