NTSB Identification: CHI95LA097.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 01, 1995 in JOLIET, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/29/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32RT, registration: N1978J
Injuries: 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.

ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, APPROXIMATELY TEN MINUTES INTO THE FLIGHT, THE ENGINE BEGAN TO RUN ROUGH. THE PILOT STATED HE BEGAN TO TROUBLESHOOT AND EVERYTHING APPEARED NORMAL EXCEPT THE FUEL FLOW WAS LOW. AT THIS TIME HE ADVANCED THE THROTTLE, SWITCHED FUEL TANKS, AND TURNED THE FUEL BOOST PUMP ON. THE PILOT STATED HE THEN HEARD A 'BANG' FROM THE ENGINE AND ALL ENGINE POWER WAS LOST. THE PILOT MADE A FORCED LANDING ON AN ACCESS ROAD ADJACENT TO A HIGHWAY. POSTACCIDENT EXAMINATION REVEALED THE NUMBER FOUR CYLINDER HAD SEPARATED FROM THE CRANKCASE. FRACTURES OF THE CYLINDER HOLD DOWN STUDS SHOWED NO CLEAR EVIDENCE OF FATIGUE CRACKING. FRACTURES ARE REPRESENTATIVE OF OVERSTRESS SEPARATIONS. FRETTING DAMAGE WAS OBSERVED ON THE MATING CYLINDER FLANGE, CRANKCASE BOSS, AND METAL FOLDS ON THE CYLINDER FLANGE/HOLE WALL CORNERS.

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

the failure of the number four cylinder due to a loose cylinder hold down stud. A factor in the accident was the embankment.

Full narrative available

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