On May 17, 1996, at 2026 eastern daylight time, a Johnson Avid Flyer, N4274A, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Rockford, Michigan. The private pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The personal, 14 CFR Part 91 flight originated in Greenville, Michigan about 1930 with a planned destination of Belding, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he was climbing, 300 to 400 feet above ground level, when the engine suddenly lost power. After two to three seconds, the engine "fired" for "another second" then lost power again. He selected a road to conduct a forced landing. He reported that during the landing "the vertical velocity was too fast." The landing gear collapsed and the left wing collided with a post. The airplane came to rest in about 100 feet and the occupants egressed uneventfully.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector who examined the wreckage reported no evidence of engine control or flight control malfunction and no anomalies with fuel or oil. He reported that the piston rings were "seized on the piston."

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