NTSB Identification: LAX94LA324.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 15, 1994 in METTLER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 150M, registration: N714GV
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 PILOT REPORTED A LOSS OF POWER WITH A ROUGH RUNNING ENGINE TO GROUND CONTROLLERS AND WAS GIVEN A RADAR VECTOR TOWARD A PRIVATE AIRSTRIP, BUT HE HAD INSUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO MAKE THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO MAKE A NIGHT FORCED LANDING IN THE CENTER MEDIAN OF AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY AND COLLIDED WITH POWER LINES. THE AIRCRAFT WAS EXAMINED BY AN FAA AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR WHO FOUND THAT THE RIGHT HAND HEAT EXCHANGER INTERNAL BAFFLING WAS DETERIORATED, ALLOWING STAINLESS STEEL MATERIAL TO LOOSEN AND EXIT OUT THE EXHAUST PIPE. IN THE SAME SECTION OF EXHAUST PIPE, A 1/4-INCH BOLT WAS INSTALLED TO RETAIN THE PIPE ON THE EXHAUST ASSEMBLY. THE BOLT WAS FOUND TO BE A NONSTANDARD INSTALLATION AND PROTRUDED 1/2 INCH INTO THE PIPE FORMING A RESTRICTION WHICH COULD COLLECT PIECES OF THE LOOSE BAFFLING MATERIAL. THE NUMBER 1 ENGINE CYLINDER WAS CRACKED ON THE EXHAUST SIDE OF THE HEAD. ALL SPARK PLUGS WERE WORN. THE RIGHT HAND MAGNETO WAS AN INCOMPATIBLE MODEL WITH THE CONTINENTAL O-200 SERIES ENGINES AND COULD NOT BE TIMED TO THE ENGINE.

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

a loss of engine power due to inadequate and improper maintenance procedures and practices. A factor in the accident was the dark night lighting conditions which inhibited the pilot's ability to select a suitable forced landing area.

Full narrative available

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