NTSB Identification: LAX94LA233.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 01, 1994 in TRINITY CENTER, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201T, registration: N36025
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot said that he heard a grinding noise in the engine followed by a prop overspeed. Then the engine suddenly lost all power. ARTCC provided radar vectors to nearest airport and the pilot set up for a dead stick approach; however, he was unable to make the runway. The aircraft touched down gear up in a ditch, bounced out and onto parking lot, then crashed into a parked aircraft. Disassembly of the engine revealed fretting on the parting surfaces of the number 1 main bearing saddle. The crankshaft was found fatigue fractured across the number 1 crankpin at the interface with the number 2 long cheek. One rod end cap nut was found without a cotter pin installed. The second rod end cap nut was found with a shorter than normal cotter pin installed. The number 1 connecting rod bearing was found partially swaged out of the rod, with fretting observed on the bearing surfaces. The side faces of connecting rod number 1 were scored. The engine records revealed that cylinders number 1 and 4 were replaced on May 9, 1994, 29 hours prior to the accident.

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

the fatigue fracture of the crankshaft due to improper maintenance installation of the number 1 cylinder and the inadequate torquing of the case through bolts at that location.

Full narrative available

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