On June 23, 1996, at 1530 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172, N3823S, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing due to loss of engine power near Conway, Michigan. During the emergency landing in a corn field, the airplane tipped up on its nose and left wing, damaging the left wing spar. The commercial pilot and one passenger reported no injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight departed Riverview Airport, Jenison, Michigan, en route to Mackinac Island, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he was in cruise flight at 3000 feet when he noticed an engine vibration and a mist of oil on the aircraft's windshield. The engine stopped a minute later. He set up for a forced landing in a field while he tried restarting the engine. The engine restarted and ran at about 50 percent power before it stopped again. The aircraft was at about 800 feet above ground level and on final approach for a corn field. The pilot reported that he touched down on the main wheels first. The ground was soft and the nose wheel dug into the ground. The aircraft tipped up on its nose and left wing before settling back down on its main landing gear.

During the examination of the engine it was determined that there was a whole in the crankcase near the number five cylinder, and no oil remained in the crankcase. The number five connecting rod was bent and the piston and pin were missing. A crack in the intake manifold with fuel stains below the crack was found.

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