NTSB Identification: LAX00LA019.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 19, 1999 in FRESNO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Cessna TR182, registration: N756LE
Injuries: 1 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 departed on a VFR cross-country flight. While cruising at 9,500 feet msl, smoke filled the cockpit, coming from the engine compartment. The pilot was monitoring the local approach control. He declared an emergency and started a descent. He was unable, however, to see an airport in the immediate area due to limited forward visibility. He subsequently landed in a residential area under development and collided with two parked cars. Postaccident examination of the engine compartment revealed that the exhaust heater core aft end plate had failed and was open. The end plate was found in the engine compartment. The failure caused the right side exhaust to exit directly at the firewall, partially separated by the airplane battery and cabin air-mixing valve.

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

Inadequate maintenance inspection mandated by the FAA, and the inadequate design of the exhaust heater core/muffler and deflectors that failed to divert hot exhaust gasses away from the battery and cabin heat valve.

Full narrative available

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