November 6, 2012, Modesto, Calif. Cessna 172M Skyhawk


At about 1100 Pacific time, the airplane landed hard during a forced landing. The private pilot and a photographer/passenger sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot and passenger departed with the intention of taking photographs. During the photo mission and at 1200 feet agl, the pilot reduced power to 1700 rpm, applied carburetor heat and 10 degrees of flaps, and reduced airspeed to 80 knots. She periodically increased the engine speed during the mission to confirm its operation. After about 10 minutes, the photographer requested that they climb to a higher altitude. The pilot pushed forward on the throttle control but engine speed dropped to idle. After troubleshooting, the engine did not respond and the pilot performed a forced landing into a field. The airplane landed hard and nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the firewall, vertical stabilizer and both wings.


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