NTSB Identification: LAX99LA067.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 03, 1999 in SANTA BARBARA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/23/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 140, registration: N3585V
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was performing touch-and-go landings and had just lifted off to climb on the runway heading when the engine abruptly lost power at 150 feet above ground level. The pilot attempted to execute a turn and lower the nose to maintain airspeed. The engine was faltering and producing partial power, then cycling and producing no power. The pilot did not have sufficient altitude to make the runway and the airplane nosed over and came to rest in a marsh located near the runway. Examination of the engine found that the right magneto to engine timing was 17 degrees before top dead center of cylinder number one. The Lycoming engine data plate specifies that the engine to magneto timing be set at 25 degrees. The left magneto was inoperative and further investigation found that the primary coil circuit was internally shorted. Review of the maintenance records disclosed that the last annual inspection was accomplished on May 5, 1998, about 40 hours prior to the accident. No entries were found detailing maintenance on the magnetos after the annual.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power due to an internal left magneto coil primary circuit short. Factors were insufficient altitude and inadequate terrain to make an emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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