NTSB Identification: SEA98LA166.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 15, 1998 in MISSOULA, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 175, registration: N8512X
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.

While in cruise flight, the pilot smelled smoke and noticed a loss of oil pressure. He therefore found an open field in which he could make an emergency landing. After arriving over the field, the engine stopped running and the pilot made a forced landing. During the landing roll, the aircraft's nose gear was torn off when it hit a small pine tree. After the gear was torn off, the aircraft nosed over. A post-accident inspection of the engine revealed that the number three connecting rod had failed and passed through the crankcase. It was also noted that the oil filler tube was missing, and no oil was found in the crankcase.

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

A complete loss of crankcase oil due to a missing oil filler tube followed by the failure of a connecting rod. Factors include encountering a small pine tree during the landing roll.

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