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N314TM accident description

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Crash location 40.617223°N, 74.244444°W
Nearest city Linden, NJ
40.622048°N, 74.244590°W
0.3 miles away
Tail number N314TM
Accident date 02 Jul 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 172N
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 2, 2003, at 1215 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N314TM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey. The certificated commercial pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight which was destined for the Princeton Airport (39N), Princeton, New Jersey. No flight plan was filed for the flight which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The accident pilot was also the maintenance officer for the flying club that operated the airplane. He stated that the carburetor had been replaced on the airplane the week prior to the accident, and the airplane had experienced several abnormal events since its installation. The purpose of the accident flight was to fly to Princeton to have the carburetor re-examined.

According to the pilot, he performed a run up inspection prior to his departure and noticed no anomalies. The takeoff roll and liftoff were also "normal," and he again noticed no anomalies. About 300 feet above the ground, the engine began to "run rough" for about 10 seconds, then lost total power. The pilot performed a forced landing to the only grass area in the vicinity, and during the landing, the airplane impacted a gas pipeline.

The engine was examined under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration inspector. Examination of the engine revealed that the mixture control wire was not secured to the mixture control arm pivot bolt. The engine was rotated by hand at the propeller flange, and compression and valve train continuity were obtained on all cylinders with the exception of the number 3 cylinder, which exhibited impact damage. The carburetor was disassembled and examined, with no mechanical anomalies noted.

A review of the maintenance records revealed the carburetor was replaced on June 27, 2003, with the entry stating, "..set idle speed and mixture to specs."

NTSB Probable Cause

The mechanic's improper installation of the carburetor, and his failure to secure the mixture control wire to the mixture control arm pivot bolt.

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