NTSB Identification: ANC07LA071.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 31, 2007 in Talkeetna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 185E, registration: N70020
Injuries: 2 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.

The float-equipped airplane was being operated by the commercial pilot as a VFR cross-country flight in conjunction with his guiding service. The pilot said that he departed one lake en route to another, and about 20 minutes into the flight, the engine went to idle rpm. He said he pushed the throttle forward, and turned the airplane toward a lake, but the airplane descended into trees short of the lake. The airplane sustained extensive damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot said that there were no known mechanical problems with the airplane prior to the flight. The airplane was examined, and it was found that the support shaft for the throttle and mixture bell cranks was missing, which disconnected the throttle control and allowed the engine to go to idle. The air induction box assembly was examined by the NTSB investigator, and it was discovered that the air box had been repaired with incorrectly substituted parts. The air box (PN 1650012-1) was the correct air box; however, a weld repair had been performed around the shaft support bushings on both sides of the box. The correct solid shaft bushings had been replaced with earlier generation roller bearings. The inappropriate installation did not allow for the support shaft to be properly pinned in place, and did not allow for the redundant safety of the correct installation. The correct parts installation would preclude the support shaft from migrating out of the air box if either shaft end spacer were missing. An examination of the airplane's maintenance log books did not reveal any entries pertaining to the air box repair.

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

The loss of engine power during cruise flight due to an improperly repaired airbox.

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