NTSB Identification: LAX96FA097.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 19, 1996 in SEAL BEACH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-236, registration: N2476Y
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The engine suddenly quit during cruise flight and, unable to reach land, the pilot ditched in the ocean. After recovery, oil streaks were observed inside the engine cowling that proceeded back along the underside of the aircraft to the empennage. Also noted was a separation of the magneto housing from the accessory case and an oil residue. Examination of the housing revealed the presence of wear on the contact surfaces of the hold down lugs that suggests both lugs were loose prior to the accident. The looseness of the lugs would allow the magneto to vibrate, resulting in fatigue cracking through the mounting flange. The magneto was recently installed on the aircraft at the last inspection and the mechanic who performed the work did not have an inspection authorization.

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

a total loss of engine power from an improperly installed magneto that separated from the engine housing due to fatigue from vibration.

Full narrative available

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