NTSB Identification: MIA04FA076.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 20, 2004 in Tampa, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N1910Q
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

An attendant at the Peter O. Knight Airport, Tampa, Florida, stated that she heard a radio communications transmission during which the voice stated that his airplane engine was experiencing roughness and backfiring. Shortly after the initial call, the attendant said she heard the pilot say "we're not going to make it." The accident airplane subsequently ditched in Tampa Bay, about a third of a mile short of the airport, in about 16 feet of water. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies with the airframe and flight controls or engine. During a detailed examination of the Teledyne Continental Motors dual-drive magneto, the magneto's cam was shown to have lost all lubrication, and the points were seized. Airplane records showed that the last known magneto overhaul was conducted by Electrosystems, Inc in October 1997. The records also showed that the magneto had been reinstalled on July 21, 2003, when the engine was overhauled, but a magneto overhaul had not been performed. Teledyne Continental Motors SB643B Service Bulletin pertinent to subject magneto, specifies that the magneto be overhauled when the engine is overhauled. In addition, Textron Lycoming's Mandatory Service Bulletin specifies mandatory parts replacement at overhaul and during repair and normal maintenance. Examination of the Bendix Fuel Flow Divider which was installed on the accident airplane revealed that the subject fuel flow divider did not have the latest diaphragm installation, as specified in Bendix Fuel Systems Service Bulletin RS-86, dated December 23, 1983.

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

Improper maintenance by other maintenance personnel, and the reinstallation of an unserviced magneto during an engine overhaul, which resulted in the magneto malfunctioning, a loss of engine power, and the airplane being ditched into the water.

Full narrative available

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