NTSB Identification: BFO94LA038.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 07, 1994 in NORFOLK, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/05/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N38780
Injuries: 6 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.

THE FLIGHT WAS CRUISING AT 7500' WHEN THE ENGINE STARTED TO RUN ROUGH 12.2 NAUTICAL MILES FROM NORFOLK AIRPORT. THE PILOT STATED THAT HE DID NOT CHANGE THE PROPELLER SETTING UNTIL HE WAS OVERHEAD THE AIRPORT. THEREAFTER THERE WAS A LOUD EXPLOSION AND THE OIL ACCESS DOOR BLEW OPEN AND PIECES OF THE ENGINE EXITED THE AIRPLANE. DURING THE FORCED LANDING ON RUNWAY 23 THE AIRPLANE TOUCHED DOWN ON THE GRASSY AREA. EXAMINATION REVEALED THE NO. 2 CYLINDER ASSEMBLY, PISTON AND CONNECTING ROD SEPARATED FROM THE CRANKCASE AT THE CYLINDER HOLD-DOWN STUD AREA. FOR METALLURGICAL EXAMINATION THE HOLD- DOWN STUDS ALONG WITH THE CRANKCASE WERE SENT TO THE NTSB LAB IN WASHINGTON, DC. THE EXAMINATION DISCLOSED FATIGUE CRACKS AND THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF WELDING THROUGH THE CRANKCASE. THE WELDING AREAS WERE SOFTER THAN THE AREAS THAT WERE NOT WELDED.

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

FATIGUE FAILURE OF THE ENGINE MOUNTING BOLT WHICH RESULTED IN LOSS OF ENGINE POWER AND SUBSEQUENT ON GROUND COLLISION WITH THE TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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