NTSB Identification: IAD96LA099.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 16, 1996 in MORGANTOWN, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Aeronca L-3B, registration: N46634
Injuries: 2 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 stated that she had been practicing touch-and-go landings on runway 18 for about 40 minutes, when she began to smell '...something burning.' She estimated the airplane was about 100 to 200 feet agl and about one mile from the runway when she began to smell the odor. She attempted to land on runway 36, but the engine lost power completely. The pilot indicated that there wasn't enough altitude to glide to the runway, so she landed in a small field, and the airplane impacted a wood building during the landing roll. Postaccident examination revealed a hole in the muffler shroud and muffler tube, and melted insulation from both magneto 'P' leads, in the vicinity of the muffler hole. The FAA Inspector stated that after 'disconnecting the 'P' lead, the left magneto delivered normal spark to all four cylinders.' Airplane records indicate that the most recent maintenance inspection was an annual inspection, dated May 15, 1995, 13 months before the accident. The airplane had flown 7.7 hours since that inspection.

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

An inadequate maintenance/annual inspection and failure of the muffler which resulted in melted insulation on the magneto 'P' leads and subsequent loss of engine power. A related factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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