NTSB Identification: NYC99LA081.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 27, 1999 in POTTSTOWN, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N177AR
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a climb, the engine started to shake violently and lost power. A forced landing was made to a two-lane highway, and the airplane impacted an overpass support. Inspection of the wreckage revealed the number 2 cylinder had separated from the engine. Examination of the engine revealed sealant applied to the upper portion of the crankcase. The top crankcase fasteners were tested for torque, and began to turn before the specified 96-inch pounds recommended by the manufacturer. When the crankcase was split open, fretting to the parting surfaces was observed. The center main bearing exhibited signs of movement and fretting on the bearing saddle. Fretting was also found on the number 2 and 3 cylinder flanges and corresponding crankcase decks. The engine was last overhauled on July 14, 1994. The engine had accumulated a total time of 1285 hours since the overhaul. The top parting surface of the crankcase was resealed on February 7, 1997, November 20, 1998, and March 17, 1999. The last noted entry for tightening the crankcase bolts was on June 19, 1998. The number 2 and number 3 cylinder were last removed and replaced on April 2, 1997, by an overhaul facility.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The failure of maintenance personnel to properly inspect and torque the crankcase bolts.

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