BFO93LA122
BFO93LA122

On Monday, July 12, 1993, at about 1901 eastern daylight time, a home built Bowers Fly Baby, N4295X, owned, operated, and piloted by Robert C. Schultz of Conneaut, Ohio, lost engine power while in cruise and was destroyed during the subsequent forced landing in Conneaut. The pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local pleasure flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that while in cruise, the airplane's engine lost partial power. He stated that he performed emergency procedures but the engine did not regain the partial power loss. The pilot stated that the airplane was over a field and he decided to land in the field. He said the airplane was too high to make an approach and land in the field so he flew around the field a couple of times to lose altitude. He said during the second time around the field, the engine lost total power. The pilot stated that the airplane was downwind and it did not have enough airspeed or altitude to make the field. The airplane impacted a berm on the side of a road, just short of the field, and was destroyed.

A witness located in his home near the accident site stated that he heard the airplane's engine "missing" prior to the impact. Another witness located in a parking lot near the accident site stated that when he approached the airplane moments after the crash, fuel was coming from the middle section of the airplane.

The wreckage was examined by FAA inspectors. The examination did not reveal any airframe anomalies. The mixture and throttle controls located in the cockpit were full forward. The magneto switch was on the left magneto.

The engine was examined and the left magneto high tension lead was found corroded with gear grease causing intermittent arcing. Spark plugs on the number two and three cylinders were found to be "sooty." The FAA inspector stated in his report that the spark plugs on the number one and four cylinders appeared "not to be firing."

The pilot stated that he purchased the engine and installed it on the airplane about two years ago. He said prior to the purchase of the engine, the engine was sitting in a friend's basement and had no paperwork. He stated the engine ran fine and he did not encounter any problems after the installation. However, the pilot stated that if he had to buy another engine, he would buy one that had "a history" and maintenance records.

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