LAX04LA140
LAX04LA140

On February 29, 2004, about 0920 Pacific standard time, a Wilson Tandum Air Bike, N240JC, experienced a total loss of engine power while cruising about 12 miles south of Elko, Nevada. The pilot made a forced landing in an open field. During rollout, the airplane collided with a snow berm and was substantially damaged. Neither the private pilot nor the passenger was injured. The airplane owner-pilot had constructed the conventional gear experimental category airplane, which he was operating during the mishap. The personal flight was performed in visual meteorological conditions under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Elko about 0820.

In the pilot's completed "Aircraft Accident Report," NTSB Form 6120.1/2, he indicated that during the flight the engine's speed decreased about 50 revolutions per minute (rpm), at which time he headed back toward Elko. Thereafter, all engine power was lost. The pilot stated that he was unable to glide to the airport, so he made a forced landing in a nearby clearing.

During the pilot's subsequent examination of his homebuilt airplane, he indicated that its 85-horsepower Subaru engine's ignition system electric coil had probably failed. The total time on the engine and the coil was 270 hours.

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