NTSB Identification: ATL05CA122.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 04, 2005 in Summerville, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Aeronca C3, registration: N14532
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Approximately 25 minutes into the flight the pilot reported a smooth engine RPM drop from 2400 to 1000. The pilot selected an area for an emergency landing. During the emergency landing attempt, the pilot was forced to land in the canopy of a near by stand of trees. The post-accident examination of the engine revealed that the clearance between the rocker arm and valve stem was excessive. The jam nut backed off due to maintenance personnel failure to secure the jam nut. A review of the airplane maintenance log revealed that the valve assembly was last adjusted on November 24, 2004.

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

The maintenance personnel failure to secure the intake valve adjustment jam nut which resulted in excessive valve clearance, and the subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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