NTSB Identification: LAX02LA050.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 16, 2001 in Santa Maria, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna R182, registration: N7317X
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 airplane came to rest inverted after colliding with the airport perimeter fence. While on approach to the airport, the airplane lost engine power and the pilot made a forced landing. Initial inspection revealed that the P-Lead for the dual magneto was not connected to the system properly. The inspection also revealed that the left side magneto timing was 10 degrees after top dead center. The right side magneto timing was within manufacturer's specifications. Further examination revealed that the points on the left side of the magneto were closed rendering the left side inoperative. A functional check of the ignition harness capacitors was conducted. When the ignition harness cover was secured to the magneto the left capacitor was intermittent. With the cover loosened, the left magneto functioned properly. It was noted that TCM SB 662A, replacement of date code affected capacitors, and TCM SB 651, capacitor grounding wire and attaching wire routing, had not been complied with. The magneto was sent to the manufacturer for further examination. The examination revealed that the primary ignition lead wire coil was misrouted from the terminal post to the distributor block. This allowed the wire to become trapped between the case halves when the cover was secured. When the wire was routed properly and bench tested it was found to operate within manufacturer's specifications. Engine logbook entries indicated that 2 weeks prior to the accident the engine would not run on the right magneto. The repair shop work order indicated that the left side points were grounded, rendering the left side of the magneto inoperative. The points were readjusted and the magneto was retimed on both sides. The magneto was returned as serviceable and reinstalled on the engine; however, the problem persisted. The ignition switch and magneto capacitor were replaced, and the right magneto postion P-Lead was repaired. The airplane was returned to service after a ground run revealed no mechancial anomalies.

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

Inadequate maintenance and inspection of the engine dual magneto that resulted in a loss of engine power during a critical phase of flight, and the subsequent undershoot forced landing in soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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