NTSB Identification: FTW96LA078.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 27, 1995 in KAUFMAN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N5221P
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 ENGINE 'STARTED TO RUN ROUGH' AND SMOKE FILLED THE COCKPIT. DURING THE DOWNWIND APPROACH TO A FIELD, FORWARD VISIBILITY WAS LIMITED BY THE SMOKE. ON SHORT FINAL, THE PILOT OBSERVED A FENCE ACROSS THE LANDING AREA AND 'PULLED THE YOKE ALL THE WAY BACK.' FOLLOWING THE HARD LANDING, THE AIRPLANE TRAVELED THROUGH THE FENCE. THE NOSE GEAR COLLAPSED, AND THE ENGINE FUSELAGE AND WINGS WERE DAMAGED. ENGINE OIL WAS FOUND ON THE ENGINE COWLING AND IN THE AREA OF THE #4 CYLINDER. THE OIL SUMP CONTAINED APPROXIMATELY 1.5 QUARTS OF OIL. THE EXHAUST VALVE PUSH ROD AND THE PUSH ROD TUBE ON THE #4 CYLINDER WERE BENT AND WERE NO LONGER IN PLACE. ENGINE TIME SINCE THE LAST MAJOR OVERHAUL WAS 697.65 HOURS AND THE TIME SINCE THE LAST ANNUAL INSPECTION WAS 26 HOURS.

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

THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO A BENT PUSH ROD AND THE RESULTANT LOSS OF OIL. FACTORS WERE THE COCKPIT SMOKE AND THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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