NTSB Identification: LAX96LA141.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 23, 1996 in MERCED, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/20/1996
Aircraft: SCHEPERLE MUSTANG II MOD, registration: N8180T
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.

According to the pilot's statement, the converted Ford V6 automotive engine overheated and seized when a malfunctioning thermostat valve allowed excess pressure to build up inside the coolant system. The resulting overpressure blew out a plug in a coolant outlet from the block, which is unused in this installation. The coolant was then pumped overboard and the engine seized. The aircraft collided with fence posts during a forced landing onto a road.

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

a loss of engine power due to a malfunctioning thermostat valve in the liquid cooling system.

Full narrative available

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