NTSB Identification: SEA06CA080.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 21, 2006 in Worden, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Pitrolo GL-25, registration: N27EP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to "check out and become familiar with a recent instrument panel upgrade performed by the local avionics shop during the past several months." After about 90 minutes of flight time, the new digital horizon indicator "had an over temperature warning," which the pilot later found was set to warn when the "local environment (behind the instrument panel)" temperature reached 120 degrees F. Within a few minutes, the engine lost power. The pilot noted that the two 5-amp circuit breakers for the two electronic ignition systems had popped and could not be reset. During the ensuing forced landing in a wheat field, the main landing gear sank into the soft ground and the "landing gear sheared off." Examination by the pilot and avionics shop personnel revealed a "dead short in each electronic ignition module." These modules were installed on the cabin side of the firewall as per the manufacturer's recommendation. The reason for the short circuits in the modules could not be determined; however, the pilot suspected "a heat related issue."

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

The loss of engine power due to failure of both electronic ignition systems. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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