NTSB Identification: FTW02LA079.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 08, 2002 in Santa Fe, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N75616
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.

After reaching the intended cruise altitude during an instructional cross-country flight, the flight instructor noticed the airplane was not accelerating to the desired cruise speed. Within one or two minutes, after adjusting the mixture and applying carbuerator heat, the engine began to operate rough. The student pilot turned the airplane back toward the departure airport. As the flight proceeded, the engine roughness and power loss amplified. Approximately 9 miles southeast of the airport, the flight instructor elected to execute a precautionary landing to a dirt road. During the precautionary landing, the airplane touched down on the nose landing gear, and after impacting a ditch, the nose gear separated. The airplane then nosed over and came to rest inverted. During an examination of the engine, the single-drive dual magneto's lower timing inspection port was removed and approximately 2 cups of engine oil drained from the magneto. It was determined that the magneto driveshaft oil seal had failed allowing engine oil to enter the magneto. At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 2,030 hours since major overhaul.

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

the loss of engine power as result of the failure of the dual magneto. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the precautionary landing.

Full narrative available

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