NTSB Identification: NYC94LA045.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 02, 1994 in WILLIAMSBURG, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/18/1994
Aircraft: CESSNA 206A, registration: N776P
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 PREFLIGHT THE PILOT CONFIRMED 11 QUARTS OF OIL IN THE ENGINE. THE PILOT DEPARTED ON A NIGHT CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT AND CLIMBED TO A CRUISING ALTITUDE OF 4500 FEET. FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER TAKE OFF THE ENGINE LOST POWER. AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT AFTER THE PILOT INITIATED A TURN TO RETURN TO THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT. THE PILOT WAS APPROACHING WATER AND ELECTED NOT TO SHUT THE ENGINE DOWN. A SECOND EXPLOSION OCCURRED FOLLOWED BY A LOSS OF OIL PRESSURE. AFTER A THIRD EXPLOSION FOLLOWED BY FIRE ERUPTING FROM THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT, THE PILOT SECURED THE ENGINE AND SHUT THE FUEL OFF. DURING THE FORCED LANDING THE LEFT WING OF THE AIRPLANE STRUCK A TREE SHORT OF THE RUNWAY, AND THE AIRPLANE CAME TO REST IN A FIELD. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED THAT AN EXHAUST VALVE HAD BROKEN FREE AND CREATED A HOLE IN THE PISTON. THE ENGINE WAS FOUND ABSENT OF OIL. TWO CONNECTING RODS FAILED AT THE CRANKSHAFT JOURNALS FROM A LACK OF LUBRICATION.

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

an exhaust valve failure that created a hole in the piston, which allowed the complete loss of engine oil, resulting in the subsequent forced landing.

Full narrative available

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