NTSB Identification: ATL89LA129.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39817.
Accident occurred Saturday, April 15, 1989 in GRATIS, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/1991
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N757HJ
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.

THE INSTRUCTOR PLT (CFI) RPRTD HE ELECTED TO MAKE A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING AFTER HE SMELLED SMOKE IN THE COCKPIT. DRG THE LANDING, THE ACFT ENCOUNTERED SOFT DIRT & NOSED OVER, DAMAGING THE VERTICAL STABILIZER. AN EXAM OF THE ENG REVEALED THERE WAS A BIRD'S NEST IN THE VICINITY OF THE #2 & #3 CYLINDERS. NO EVIDENCE OF ANY OTHER POSSIBLE SOURCE OF SMOKE OR FIRE WAS FOUND. ACCORDING TO AN FAA INSPECTOR, WHO EXAMINED THE ACFT, THE NEST WAS PARTIALLY HIDDEN, BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN SEEN DRG A PREFLIGHT INSPECTION WITH ADEQUATE LIGHTING. BOTH THE CFI & STUDENT HAD PREFLIGHTED THE ACFT, BUT NEITHER SAW THE BIRD'S NEST.

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

THE FOREIGN MATERIAL (BIRD NEST) IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT, AND FAILURE OF THE DUAL STUDENT OR INSTRUCTOR PILOT (CFI) TO IDENTIFY AND REMOVE IT DURING THEIR PREFLIGHT INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT. SOFT TERRAIN IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA AND SMOKE FROM THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT WERE FACTORS.

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