NTSB Identification: LAX05LA057.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 31, 2004 in Yucca Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Orr Long-Ez, registration: N321EZ
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.

The airplane collided with power lines during a forced landing on a road following a total loss of engine power. The pilot entered a mountain pass area east of his destination at 3,500 feet mean sea level, westbound. Due to lowering ceilings, turbulence, and rain, the pilot performed an 180-degree reverse course to the high desert, and another possible route into the Los Angeles basin and his destination. Soon after the course reversal, the pilot noted an engine sound decrease and loss of engine rpm. As he reached the edge of the high desert, the engine shutdown abruptly. He turned toward a nearby airport, and observed a popped circuit breaker for the electronic ignition system. He reset the breaker and the engine went to full power for about 5 or 10 seconds, and then the breaker popped again. He turned off the electronic ignition system to check the redundancy of the left magneto, which was also inoperative. The pilot reported that during the course reversal while in the rain showers, he observed rainwater entering the cockpit and instrument panel area around the magneto switches and electronic ignition circuit breaker. He felt that the source of the ignition failure was due to the shorting of the magneto switch from the rainwater.

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

a loss of engine power due to ignition system failure due to rain water grounding/shorting of the magneto switches.

Full narrative available

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