February 9, 2012, Cusick, Wash., Cessna 172M Skyhawk


At 1530 Pacific time, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power during cruise flight and made a forced landing in a forested area. The solo pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its wings and fuselage. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to the pilot, his pre-flight inspection and pre-takeoff run-up were normal, although the airplane did not feel “as spunky as normal.” About 10 minutes from his destination, the engine began to run rough. He applied carburetor heat, but the problem did not clear up. Additional troubleshooting included switching from one fuel tank to the other, and then to both, activation of the carburetor heat, and use of the primer. The pilot stated that the engine kept missing like it wanted to quit. The pilot saw a field that he thought he initially would make; however, it became apparent to him that he was not going to make the field. At that point, he saw an opening and flew toward it. The pilot recalls turning off the master, magneto and electrical switches before the airplane struck trees.


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