NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that he had not flown the airplane in “some time.” He added that, on the day of the accident, he performed a full power run-up and that the airplane “felt normal.” The takeoff and climbout were normal; however, while the airplane was at 1,200 ft above ground level, the engine began to lose power. During the attempted forced landing, the main landing gear impacted an irrigation pipe, the left wing tip impacted a fence post, and the airplane then slid about 60 ft before coming to rest upright.
The pilot reported that, after exiting the airplane, he observed a broken wire on the cowl flap cable, which he believed would have allowed the cowl flap to completely close and then resulted in the engine overheating. However, during a postaccident engine examination, it could not be determined if the wire on the cowl flap broke before or during the impact. The examination revealed no other evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure that would have precluded normal engine operation.