NTSB Identification: CHI05LA076.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 06, 2005 in Rochester, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2019Q
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a tree and the ground during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. Subsequent to the accident, the engine was found to have a broken connecting rod, and the oil level was below the bottom of the dipstick. According to the pilot and maintenance records, the airplane had recently undergone an annual inspection. The annual inspection included an overhaul of the propeller governor. Examination of the governor installation revealed that the mounting nuts did not have the proper stack up of washers and were not torqued to specifications. In addition, the aircraft maintenance manual for the airplane indicated the use of a single gasket between the governor and the engine accessory housing. An aircraft maintenance manual for later year models of the airplane and an engine manufacturer's Service Instruction indicated the use of 2 gaskets and a plate between the propeller governor and the engine accessory housing. The engine manufacturer’s Service Instruction stated that the 2 gaskets and plate are necessary "to eliminate the possibility of oil leakage between the propeller governor and the accessory housing."

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

The loss of engine power due to oil starvation and the subsequent failure of a connecting rod. Additional causes were the improper maintenance due to under-torqued fasteners, and inadequate airframe manufacturer maintenance procedures resulting in an improper oil gasket installation. The tree encountered during the forced landing was a factor.

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