NTSB Identification: LAX05LA317.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 26, 2005 in Tracy, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Cessna A185F, registration: N8548Q
Injuries: 4 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.

During the takeoff initial climb the engine experienced a partial loss of power and the landing gear collapsed during an ensuing off-airport forced landing in an open field. Upon arriving at the airport, the pilot conducted a preflight inspection, which included checking the fuel tanks for contamination. No discrepancies were noted with the preflight inspection, start-up, taxi to the active runway, or run-up. Shortly after takeoff the pilot reduced the throttle and revolutions per minute (rpm) to 25 inches of manifold pressure (MAP) and 2,500 rpm for best rate of climb. Shortly after that the pilot noticed that the climb performance was substandard and decaying, and the engine seemed to have a reduced power output. Due to the marginal climb performance and decaying power state of the engine, the pilot decided to land in an open field. During a turn to remain over the intended landing site, the engine started to misfire. Engine power continued to decay even though the throttle was full forward, mixture set at rich, and the fuel selector was selected to BOTH. While on downwind he noted obstructions at the end of his intended landing site. At the current rate of descent, he believed that the airplane would overrun the field and impact the obstructions. He lowered the flaps to 20 degrees and initiated a left 90-degree turn for a clearer area in which to land. During the flare, the left wing tip impacted the ground first, the airplane bounced, and when it touched down again, the right main landing gear collapsed. A post accident inspection and ground run of the engine was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector with no preimpact mechanical anomalies identified that would have precluded normal operation.

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

loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

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