NTSB Identification: MIA96FA049.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 26, 1995 in OCALA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P, registration: N800SJ
Injuries: 2 Serious,5 Uninjured.

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.

During cruise flight at 14,000 feet mean sea level, the engine failed. The flight was vectored to a nearby airport but the pilot flew toward another airport and crashed in a residential area. Examination of the engine revealed 1.8 quarts of oil were drained and 3 of the 6 connecting rods were failed due to lack of lubrication. Also, detonation damage to the No. 6 cylinder piston was noted and scoring of piston sidewalls was noted at 5 of the 6 cylinders. Evidence of heat discoloration was noted to the connecting rod journals for 3 of the 6 cylinders. The aircraft TIT gauge, which had been miscalibrated by 30 to 40 degrees when the airplane was manufactured, was found to indicate 110 degrees Fahrenheit low near the maximum continuous point of 1,750 degrees. The air/oil separator hose to the scavenge pump was plugged about 10 inches along its length with a substance with a high lead content resulting in the recurring pilot report of excessive oil consumption. Due to the pilot complaint of excessive oil consumption 4 of the 6 cylinders were removed and replaced within the previous 6 months. About 1 month before the accident one of the cylinder pistons was removed and replaced after examination revealed piston sidewall damage consistent with detonation.

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

oil starvation resulting in connecting rod failure in three of the six cylinders due to lack of lubrication. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the pilot to adhere to a ATC vector toward the nearest airport following engine failure which resulted in the airplane flying past the vectored airport and subsequent collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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