The pilot had flown various Cessna types of aircraft but his experience on the Cessna 177 type was limited.
The Cessna 177 differs from the other types which the pilot had flown in that it has a fuel shut-off selector
located near the carburettor heat control. After taking off from an authorised landing area on the
property of one of his passengers the pilot decided to land in another nearby field. At about 500 feet on
final approach he selected what he thought was carburettor heat and shortly afterwards there was a
complete loss of engine power. He then prepared to make a forced landing into a nearer field and during
a subsequent cockpit check found that he had inadvertently operated the fuel shut-off instead of the
carburettor heat. The fuel was selected on, the engine re-started and the pilot applied full power with
the intention of abandoning the landing. The nose leg then struck and was damaged by a power wire of
which the pilot was not aware. The aircraft was landed straight ahead and the nose leg collapsed when it
contacted the ground.