NTSB Identification: MIA02LA057.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 01, 2002 in River Ranch, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2004
Aircraft: Cessna R172E, registration: N7878N
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 flight departed and proceeded uneventfully to the La Belle Municipal Airport where an uneventful landing was performed. The flight departed to return to the initial departure airport and during cruise flight, the certified flight instructor (CFI) noted a discrepancy with one of the fuel gauges. He landed uneventfully at a nearby airport, and with the engine running, the CFI checked for fuel leaks and checked both fuel tanks; no leakage was noted and both tanks were found to contain a sufficient quantity of fuel. The CFI elected to depart to the return to the original departure airport and approximately 15 minutes into the flight, oil spots were noted on the windshield. The CFI reported the engine lost power shortly after seeing the oil spots. The CFI maneuvered the airplane for a landing in a field maintaining 85 miles-per-hour (mph), and during the landing roll with the flaps retracted, the airplane collided with a berm and became airborne. The airplane then contacted another berm becoming airborne again for a short distance. The airplane then impacted the ground and came to rest upright. The CFI exited the airplane and obtained assistance for the student who remained in the airplane. Examination of the fuel system, fuel vent system, air induction system, exhaust system, and engine assembly revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. The crankshaft fracture was noted to be from overstress. On engine testing of the ignition system components revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Bench testing of fuel injection system components and both magnetos revealed no evidence of preimpact failure, a discrepancy was noted with the condensers of both magnetos. Bench testing of the fuel selector valve and flexible fuel lines revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Testing of fuel from the facility that fueled the airplane revealed no discrepancies that would cause a loss of engine power. No determination was made as to the reason for the reported loss of engine power. Review of the "Flight Manual" for the airplane revealed that for forced landings on unprepared surfaces, full flaps should be used if possible with a 75 mph glide.

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

The reported loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons. Contributing factors in the accident were an improper flap setting, excessive landing speed, and terrain consisting of berms.

Full narrative available

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