On September 26, 1999, at 2246 central daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N738FA, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when during a forced landing to a street in a residential neighborhood, the airplane's wing struck power lines and a pole, and subsequently impacted the ground. Previous to the forced landing, the airplane's engine lost power while descending for approach and landing at the Des Moines International Airport, Des Moines, Iowa. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted on a VFR flight plan operating under 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot reported no injuries. The cross-country flight originated at Woodruff, Wisconsin, at 1900 cdt, and was en route to Des Moines, Iowa.

In his written statement, the pilot said that "he encountered engine failure" at 3,000 feet mean sea level. "An emergency landing was attempted on McKinley Street. Upon landing, I struck a telephone pole with the left wing."

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the airplane at the accident site. The airplane was found resting upright, backed up against some trees, in the hollow of a vacant lot, in a residential neighborhood located 1.6 miles east of the Des Moines International Airport. Preceding the airplane, a power pole was found pushed over. There was metal skin from the airplane's left wing suspended in a power line coming off of the pole. The airplane's left wing leading edge was torn out at mid-span. The airplane's right wing tip was broken off. The nose wheel was broken aft. The engine mounts and firewall were bent up and aft. The airplane's wing and fuselage skins showed heavy buckling and bending. The propeller showed no damage. Examination of the airplane's two main fuel tanks, which were found intact, revealed no fuel in either tank. Approximately 1 pint of fuel was recovered from the accumulator tank and lines to the engine. Flight control continuity was confirmed. Examination of the engine, engine controls and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

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