NTSB Identification: FTW97LA063.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 14, 1996 in AMARILLO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-D, registration: N87226
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.

According to the pilot, the engine lost power without warning as he retarded the throttle to 2,250 RPM, while leveling at 5,500 feet. The pilot attempted without success to restart the engine, and he elected to execute a forced landing to a road. Traffic conditions on the road prevented its use for a forced landing, so the pilot selected a field adjacent to the road that was covered with mesquite shrubs and clumps of bear grass. The pilot further stated that the selected field turned out to be rough and uneven. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the #1 exhaust valve head had separated from the valve stem, resulting in internal damage to the respective cylinder, piston, intake valve, and push rods.

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

failure of the #1 exhaust valve, which resulted in loss of engine power and a forced landing on rough/uneven terrain. A factor relating to the accident was: the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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