NTSB Identification: CHI07FA016.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 02, 2006 in Battle Creek, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 175, registration: N9408B
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Air traffic controllers received an emergency radio call from a person representing the airplane. The pilot responded that oil was on the airplane's windshield and that oil pressure was zero. The airplane was given a heading to divert to the closest airport. The pilot was asked if he could maintain altitude and he responded "no." The pilot advised that he was going to land in a field. Air traffic controllers alerted crash, fire, and rescue personnel of the airplane's location. The airplane was found near the top of a crest in rolling pastureland about eight miles northeast of the diversion airport. The empennage was streaked with a liquid consistent with oil. The windshield was broken and pieces of it were coated with a liquid consistent with oil. An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed no airframe pre-impact anomalies. The top right side of the engine, aft facing forward, was coated with a liquid consistent with oil. The engine case and cylinders showed no pre-impact anomalies that would have precluded engine operation. The top of the separated reduction gear case was coated with a liquid consistent with oil. Disassembly showed that the upper right section of the nose seal assembly, which sealed against the reduction gear case, exhibited an area coated with a liquid consistent with oil. The remainder of the seal was intact and was not coated with liquid. The airplane did not have shoulder harnesses installed and was not required to have them installed. Advisory Circular 91-65, Use of Shoulder Harness in Passenger Seats, in part, stated, "The [National Transportation Safety Board] concluded that shoulder harness use is the most effective way of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in general aviation accidents."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power while in cruise flight due to an oil leak from the nose seal of the reduction gear case. Contributing to the accident were the oil leak, the pilot's reduced visibility out the windscreen, and rising terrain. Full narrative available
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