NTSB Identification: MIA95LA165.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 28, 1995 in LAKE PLACID, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N96567
Injuries: 1 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 PILOT STATED THAT DURING CRUISE FLIGHT AT 5,000 FEET ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER DEPARTURE, THE ENGINE EXPERIENCED A LOSS OF POWER. MOMENTARY APPLICATION OF CARBURETOR HEAT RESTORED ENGINE POWER BUT THE ENGINE AGAIN FAILED. DURING THE FORCED LANDING THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED CRANKSHAFT, CAMSHAFT, AND VALVE TRAIN CONTINUITY. DIFFERENTIAL COMPRESSION OF ALL CYLINDERS USING 80 PSI AS A BASE REVEALED NUMBERS GREATER THAN 70 PSI. EACH MAGNETO TO ENGINE TIMING WAS DETERMINED TO BE CORRECT AND THE MAGNETOS WERE REMOVED FOR BENCH TESTING WHICH REVEALED THAT THE RIGHT MAGNETO WAS OPERATING NORMALLY. THE LEFT MAGNETO WAS FOUND TO BE FIRING INTERMITTENTLY DUE TO PARTIAL FAILURE OF THE IGNITION COIL. EXAMINATION OF THE FUEL VENT SYSTEM REVEALED THAT A VENTED FUEL CAP WAS FOUND SECURED BY CHAIN TO THE LEFT FUEL TANK FILLER PORT AND A NON- VENTED FUEL CAP WAS SECURED BY CHAIN TO THE RIGHT FUEL TANK PORT. THE CORRECT POSITIONS FOR VENTED AND NON-VENTED FUEL CAPS IS OPPOSITE FROM THE POSITIONS IN WHICH THEY WERE FOUND. ADDITIONALLY, A MALFUNCTION OF THE VENT VALVE ASSEMBLY WAS NOTED. THE VENT VALVE ASSEMBLY WAS NOT REMOVED FOR EXAMINATION. THE AIRPLANE HAD ACCUMULATED ABOUT 3.9 HOURS SINCE AN ANNUAL INSPECTION WAS PERFORMED ON APRIL 6, 1995.

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

TOTAL FAILURE OF THE FUEL VENT SYSTEM RESULTING IN THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DURING CRUISE FLIGHT. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE INADEQUATE INSPECTION OF THE AIRPLANE DURING THE LAST ANNUAL INSPECTION FOR FAILURE OF THE MECHANIC TO IDENTIFY THAT THE VENTED AND NON-VENTED FUEL CAPS WERE INCORRECTLY POSITIONED.

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