NTSB Identification: CHI97LA145.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 23, 1997 in COLUSA, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-G, registration: N94415
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.

The pilot-in-command stated that during the initial climb after a series of touch-and-go's, 'at an altitude of 250 feet, the engine began running rough and made a clattering noise.' The CFI said he then took control of the aircraft. The pilot reported that the 'engine quite completely with the propeller stopping in the horizontal position.' The CFI next executed a forced landing in a 'freshly planted' field. The CFI said, [the] 'Aircraft touched down firmly and we rolled approximately 50 feet when the nose wheel dug in and the aircraft went over onto its back, nose first.' Postcrash investigation of the airplane showed that the exhaust valve rocker arm on the number two cylinder was broken in two pieces. Further inspection of the number two cylinder showed that the exhaust valve rocker arm had been interchanged with the intake valve rocker arm of the same cylinder.

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

improper installation of the rocker arm assembly by maintenance personnel which led to the failure of the rocker arm. A factor was the soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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