NTSB Identification: MIA95FA042.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 28, 1994 in PLANT CITY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N33456
Injuries: 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.
The pilot informed ATC that he had a loose engine cowling, and that he would be proceeding direct to the destination airport. The airplane was observed on radar diverting to an alternate airport. Another pilot saw the airplane on final approach with something streaming from the airplane. The airplane was observed to terminate the approach to the south, as if the pilot was making a simulated forced landing. Another witness observed the airplane descending until it collided with trees and terrain. Examination of the wreckage, revealed the engine cowling latch penetrated the oil cooler, resulting in total exhaustion of engine oil, engine failure, and forced landing.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The opening of the engine cowling latch in cruise flight for undetermined reasons. This resulted in the puncture of the engine oil cooler, total exhaustion of the engine oil, failure of the No. 6 connecting rod, rod bolts, forced landing while on final approach, and subsequent in-flight collision with non suitable terrain. Full narrative available
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