NTSB Identification: ATL96LA100.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 05, 1996 in HILLSBOROUGH, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N75814
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.

During cruise flight, the engine quit. A force landing was attempted in an open pasture that the pilot reported was the only available site. He circled the pasture to position the airplane for the forced landing. On final approach, the pilot extended the flaps, stopping them at ten degrees to ensure that the airplane would clear power lines at the approach end of the pasture. Consequently, the airplane overran the end of the downhill sloped pasture, then collided with trees at the end with the airspeed about 55 knots, according to the pilot. During the postaccident examination of the engine, the magneto impulse coupling spring of the single-drive dual magneto was found broken, resulting in a loss of engine to magneto timing and engine stoppage.

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

The failure of the magneto impulse coupling spring. A factor was the power line at the approach end of the forced landing site.

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