On January 15, 1996, at 1010 eastern standard time (est), a Cessna 150M, N8375U, operated by a student pilot, sustained substantial damage during an attempted forced landing when it impacted the terrain. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan was on file. The student pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated at Grand Ledge, Michigan, at 0925 est, and was en route to Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

In his written statement, the pilot reported being approximately four miles from Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport, Michigan, when the airplane "started to shake violently and the engine rpm dropped to 1500." The pilot moved the mixture control to rich, turned on the carburetor heat and performed his checks, but "couldn't find anything wrong." He contacted Saginaw approach control and informed them that the airplane "was having engine trouble and was losing altitude." The pilot also informed Saginaw approach control that he thought he "could make the field," and that he "had the airport in sight." The pilot changed radio frequencies to Mount Pleasant unicom and informed the airport traffic that he would be making an emergency landing on runway 9. As the pilot turned toward the airport, the airplane's engine rpm dropped to 1000, and the airplane began to lose altitude rapidly. The pilot performed a forced landing on the airport grounds, 400 feet short of the runway 9 threshold. The ground was snow covered. When the nosewheel touched down in the snow, the airplane "stopped suddenly and pitched forward on its nose."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the wreckage at the site, found the airplane's left wing had separated at the wing root and the left wing spar was bent rearward. The left horizontal stabilizer spar was also bent rearward. The front nose gear was bent back, and the propeller was bent slightly. Flight control continuity was confirmed. Engine controls were examined and revealed no anomalies. Fuel was observed in the fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburetor. Oil was observed covering the engine cowling.

Further examination of the engine revealed that the connecting rod to the number one cylinder had failed due to oil starvation. The oil cap to the crankcase was checked and found loose. Oil was observed covering the left side engine components in the area of the oil filler neck.

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