NTSB Identification: SEA01LA154.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 12, 2001 in Chimacum, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Republic RC-3, registration: N6755K
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

After conducting a satisfactory pre-takeoff run-up check of both the right magneto and left coil ignition system, the pilot departed for his destination. Approximately 30 minutes into the flight the engine began to run rough and the pilot determined that the right magneto was not operating. He then selected the left ignition and, although the engine initially continued to run roughly, eventually all power was lost. The pilot selected an open field used by a farmer to operate his Cessna 177 in and out of due to the non-availability of any other adequate landing site. As he maneuvered through a 180 degree turn toward the landing area, he noted a 1,000-foot/minute rate of descent, which was greater than he had anticipated. The landing gear had been extended and as the aircraft was maneuvered onto a short final, the right main landing gear struck a cow. The aircraft yawed into a left skid, contacted the ground and skidded through a barbwire fence. Post-crash examination revealed that the right magneto had grounded internally resulting in its failure to operate. Additional testing revealed the left coil ignition system had also grounded internally as evidence by arcing, and it too, had failed.

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

An internal ground in the right magneto followed by an internal ground evidenced by arcing in the left ignition coil unit, which led to failure of both the right magneto and the left coil ignition system respectively during cruise. Contributing factors were a cow impacted by the right main landing gear and the pilot's unanticipated higher than expected rate of descent during the 180 degree descending turn to final.

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