NTSB Identification: WPR13LA035
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2012 in Modesto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N21391
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 a photography mission, the pilot applied full engine power, and the engine speed dropped to idle. After attempting a series of troubleshooting steps, the engine did not respond, and the pilot performed a forced landing into a field. The airplane landed hard and nosed over. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the outer jacket of the throttle control cable had fragmented at the carburetor attach point, exposing the inner cable. Subsequent throttle control movement resulted in the cable flexing out of the jacket, rather than moving the throttle control arm at the carburetor. No life limit existed for the cable, which was most likely installed at the time of airframe manufacture, 38 years prior to the accident. Further examination of the engine revealed no additional evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal operation.

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

Failure of the throttle control cable during maneuvering flight, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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