NTSB Identification: FTW94LA181.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 25, 1994 in WILLCOX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: MOONEY M20J, registration: N50105
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.

THE PROPELLER RPM SURGED AND AS THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO REDUCE POWER, THE ENGINE VIBRATED VIOLENTLY AND STOPPED WHEN THE THROTTLE WAS CLOSED. A FORCED LANDING WAS MADE TO A MESQUITE AND SAGE BRUSH COVERED DESERT. DURING ROLLOUT THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED SEVERAL LARGE CLUSTERS OF MESQUITE AND A FENCE RESULTING IN SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE TO BOTH WINGS AND HORIZONTAL STABILIZERS. EXAMINATION OF THE 580 HOUR ENGINE REVEALED THAT TWO CONNECTING RODS HAD FAILED DUE TO LACK OF LUBRICATION. A BEARING WAS FOUND TO HAVE SPUN, BLOCKING THE ENGINE OIL FLOW. THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN AN INCIDENT 108 HOURS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT IN WHICH THE ENGINE WAS OPERATED WITH LOW OIL QUANTITY AND LOW OIL PRESSURE.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE CONNECTING ROD DUE TO LACK OF LUBRICATION. FACTORS WERE THE PREVIOUS DAMAGE TO THE ENGINE, AND THE UNSUITABLE TERRAIN AT THE PILOT'S DISPOSAL FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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