NTSB Identification: SEA02LA107.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 20, 2002 in Troutdale, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/08/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172E, registration: N5383T
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot flew an uneventful one hour flight in the Continental O-300-D equipped Cessna 172E and then departed on a second one hour flight after topping off the fuel tanks. Both flights were being conducted as maintenance checks following the replacement of all six cylinder piston rings and the re-honing of all six cylinders. While on final approach to runway 25 the pilot encountered "very rough turbulence" as he was reducing power and the engine lost power. The pilot believed that he could not make the field and executed a 180 degrees course reversal landing off airport in an area of soft terrain covered by high grass. During the landing roll the aircraft's nose gear collapsed. On site examination revealed fuel in the aircraft's fuel system immediately following the forced landing. Post crash examination revealed no evidence of any mechanical malfunction with the engine, ignition, air delivery or fuel system. The only discrepancy noted was the non-functionality of the aircraft's right wing gas cap vent, which was required under FAA Airworthiness Directive 79-10-14R. Examination revealed that the rubber gasket would not unseat and allowed normal venting. The left fuel tank vent was examined and found to function satisfactorily. The engine was subsequently test run with a new carburetor and then the reassembled original (accident) carburetor with satisfactory results. The fuel system was examined and no blockages were found within any of the lines and no particulates were found in any of the fuel filters.

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

A loss of engine power for an undetermined (non-mechanical) reason. Contributing factors were high grass and soft terrain which lead to the collapse of the nose gear during the landing roll.

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