NTSB Identification: DEN03FA023.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 05, 2002 in Hot Springs, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/18/2004
Aircraft: Rockwell Commander 114, registration: N314M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was on an instrument flight plan at night, with a destination of Little Rock, Arkansas. The pilot reported a loss of engine power, and he diverted into Hot Springs, Arkansas. The airplane impacted a brick house, approximately 6,000 feet short of the runway. The airplane engine ignition system's single-drive dual-magneto exhibited evidence of melted plastic on its four-lobe breaker cam. The cam itself exhibited "bluing" discoloration and was dry of lubrication. The internal damage to the magneto suggested that the breaker cam's shaft had been forcibly pushed into the magneto. Evaluation of the magneto housing revealed a 7/8-inch gouge, which matched the dimension of its hold-down clamp. The magneto had been removed during the airplane's last annual inspection for a normal maintenance inspection. The airplane had flown approximately 148 hours since its annual inspection.

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

the loss of engine power due to the failure of the engine ignition system's single-drive dual-magneto, and the magneto's improper installation by unknown maintenance personnel. Contributing factors were the improper installation of the magneto by unknown maintenance personnel, the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing, and the dark night light condition.

Full narrative available

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