The pilot and passenger were on a cross-country flight when the pilot noticed oil on the Meyers 200’s windscreen.
He subsequently landed and had maintenance personnel inspect the airplane.
Maintenance personnel noted that the crankshaft seal was leaking and identified several other discrepancies.
The pilot chose to have the repairs completed. During the repairs, maintenance personnel noticed that the bolt holding the throttle cable bracket was loose, worn, and not safety wired.
The maintenance facility did not have an exact replacement bolt, so the mechanic found a similar bolt, drilled a hole in the bolt head for the safety wire, and installed the bolt.
The mechanic installed the safety wire through the throttle bolt and then down to the mixture control bolt.
The pilot periodically inspected or observed the work as maintenance personnel finished the repairs on the airplane. He also took a photo of the throttle linkage area, which showed that the safety wire was installed.
After the repairs were completed, he conducted a local test flight. No problems were noted, and the pilot and passenger continued their flight.
After an en route fuel stop, the airplane departed and reached 2,300′ when the engine lost power.
Although the engine remained at idle, it would not respond to throttle inputs.
The pilot conducted a forced landing to a field near Huron, S.D.
Following the forced landing, he re-entered the airplane to ensure that the electrical power and fuel and were off and that there was no fire. He then removed the engine cowling and found the throttle linkage “disconnected or broken.”
A post-crash examination of the airplane revealed that the bolt holding the throttle cable bracket was missing, which had allowed the throttle cable to “float,” meaning that manipulating the throttle control from the cabin would not govern the engine’s throttle position.
The examination also revealed that the mixture control bolt was in place. However, the throttle cable bolt and associated safety wire were not found.
Probable cause: The partial loss of engine power due an unsecured throttle cable. Contributing to the unsecured throttle cable was the missing bolt and associated safety wire. The reason for the missing bolt and safety wire could not be determined.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA275
This July 2016 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.