FTW98LA005
FTW98LA005

On October 5, 1997, at 1030 central daylight time, a Cessna 175A, N7091E, owned and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91, was destroyed during a post impact fire following a forced landing due to a partial loss of engine power near Bentonville, Arkansas. The private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the local personal flight departing Bentonville at 1025.

On the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, and during personal interviews, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported performing the preflight of the airplane, taxiing to runway 17, and completing the before takeoff checklist. There were no discrepancies noted prior to the departure. The airplane was climbing through 600 feet AGL at 350 fpm, 0.5 mile south of the airport, when the engine started running rough and not developing enough power to maintain the altitude of the airplane. The pilot performed the emergency checklist and executed a forced landing to a field. The airplane touched down short of a fence extending across the field and during the landing roll, the airplane struck the metal fence posts, collapsed the nose gear, and skidded about 90 feet before coming to a stop.

After the airplane came to a stop, the rear seat passenger observed smoke coming from the right side of the aircraft. The pilot and passengers exited the airplane through the left passenger door. The airplane was consumed by the fire.

The FAA inspector, who examined the airplane, reported that the airplane was destroyed except for a portion of the left wing, the vertical stabilizer, and the engine. The integrity of the fuel system was compromised; however, the inspector found fuel in the left tank. The accessory case of the engine was melted.

On October 14, 1997, the airplane was re-examined at Clinton, Arkansas, by the FAA inspector. The FAA inspector reported that the "fire was concentrated around the carburetor and the aft portion of the engine." However, fire damage precluded a determination of the cause of the partial loss of engine power.

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