NTSB Identification: LAX96LA124.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 21, 1996 in TRACY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/1996
Aircraft: Schweizer G-164B, registration: N6674Q
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot reported that he was about 1/4 mile from the airport at 50 feet in the initial climb, when the engine began a severe vibration, then it stopped, abruptly. The pilot selected the only available landing area, which was a muddy field, and the aircraft nosed over during the landing ground roll. Preliminary examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft was seized and would not move. Partial disassembly of the engine revealed that it had sustained a catastrophic internal failure. The No. 5 piston (master) was found out of it's respective cylinder, with the connecting rod elongated and bent. The rod end cap was attached on one side and separated on the other. Evidence of heat and stretching was observed near the crankpin area of the rod. The bearing could not be examined due to internal damage of the engine.

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

overheating and failure of the engine's master rod and master rod bearing due to oil starvation. A factor relating to the accident was: the lack of suitable terrain for an emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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