NTSB Identification: ATL94FA171.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 1994 in GLENVILLE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N73AW
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

APPROXIMATELY TWENTY MINUTES INTO THE FLIGHT THE PILOT REPORTED A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER AT 8,500 FEET. THE PILOT CIRCLED THE HILLY TERRAIN AND SELECTED A FORCED LANDING AREA AFTER ATTEMPTS TO RESTORE FULL POWER FAILED. WHILE ON FINAL APPROACH TO THE FORCED LANDING SITE, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES, AND CAUGHT ON FIRE AFTER IT IMPACTED THE RAPIDLY RISING TERRAIN. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED THAT THE #4 INTAKE VALVE WAS FRACTURED AND STUCK IN THE OPEN POSITION. EXAMINATION OF THE FRACTURE FACE DISCLOSED MULTIPLE FATIGUE ORIGINS. ADDITIONALLY, THE #4 VALVE GUIDE WAS OVERSIZED BY 0.030 INCHES.

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

THE FATIGUE FAILURE OF #4 INTAKE VALVE. A FACTOR WAS HILLY TERRAIN.

Full narrative available

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