NTSB Identification: CHI95LA048.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 29, 1994 in LA PORTE CITY, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201T, registration: N1194H
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 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.

WHILE EN ROUTE THE PILOT HEARD A LOUD POP FOLLOWED BY ENGINE VIBRATIONS AND A PARTIAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. THE PILOT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY AND WAS VECTORED TOWARD A GRASS AIRSTRIP WHICH HE COULD NOT LOCATE. EN ROUTE TO THE GRASS STRIP A TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER WAS EXPERIENCED. THE AIRPLANE WAS LANDED IN A PLOWED CORN FIELD. POST ACCIDENT INSPECTION REVEALED THE CRANKSHAFT HAD SEPARATED BETWEEN THE NO. 3 MAIN BEARING JOURNAL AND THE NO. 5 CYLINDER CRANKPIN DUE TO FATIGUE CRACKING. TCM SERVICE BULLETIN 92-16 ADDRESSING CRANKSHAFTS MADE FROM NON-VACUUM ARC REMELTED STEEL HAD NOT BEEN COMPLIED WITH.

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

a material defect which resulted in the fatigue failure of the crankshaft and the aircraft owner's failure to comply with a Mandatory Service Bulletin addressing the defect. A factor related to the accident was the rough terrain on which the forced landing was made.

Full narrative available

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