NTSB Identification: SEA07LA172.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 18, 2007 in Oceanside, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2144Q
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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 first flight after installation of an overhauled engine, overhauled propeller and overhauled propeller governor, the airplane's engine lost power, and the pilot made a forced landing on an interstate highway in a major metropolitan area. During the landing, the airplane's left wing struck a car. The pilot stated that he selected the highway as a landing area "as everything else was rooftops." Examination of the engine revealed an uncontained catastrophic failure of the number four connecting rod. There was significant heat distress at the number four connecting rod, and adjacent components consistent with lack of oil lubrication. The oil dipstick did not register any oil in the sump, and a significant oil film was on the firewall and belly. The propeller governor was found installed contrary to the engine manufacturer's Parts Catalog and Service Instructions. A single gasket was used to mount the governor instead of the required plate sandwiched between two gaskets. A clear and evident oil path was seen from the edge of the single gasket. The improper governor installation allowed engine oil to leak overboard, resulting in a loss of lubrication and failure of the number four connecting rod.

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

The improper installation of the propeller governor (gasket) by maintenance personnel, which resulted in a oil exhaustion induced total loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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