NTSB Identification: FTW00LA207.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 12, 2000 in COLUMBUS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N3392E
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to takeoff, an initial check of the magnetos showed the right magneto had a drop of 300-500 rpm. The pilot rechecked the magnetos several times before and after takeoff and both magnetos checked 'normal.' After several minutes at cruise altitude, a drop in engine rpm was noted. A magneto check revealed a 'dead right magneto.' The pilot elected to change course to the closest airport with maintenance facilities. 'Soon thereafter, all power was lost,' and the pilot could not restart the engine. During the forced landing, 'the airplane hit the ground 30-60 feet from the first contact with the trees' and skidded another 25-50 feet before coming to rest on its nose. An engine test run was attempted; the engine would not start. The single-drive dual-magneto was removed from the engine, and a bench test revealed that no spark was being produced from either magneto. An examination of the magnetos revealed that the neoprene cam followers on both sets of points had melted and smeared, which kept the points from opening.

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

the failure of both magnetos of the dual-magneto single-drive unit. A factor contributing to the accident was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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