NTSB Identification: FTW96LA280.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 30, 1996 in TRUTH OR CONSEQ, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 182N, registration: N9001G
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.

The pilot reported that while cruising at 11,500 feet MSL over 10,000 foot terrain, he 'noticed the oil pressure gauge was reading 0.' Approximately 5 minutes later, the engine 'clanked and started to break apart internally.' Subsequently, a 'few minutes' after that, the engine seized. The pilot executed a forced landing between trees on a rocky ridge top. During the landing roll, the airplane hit a rock, nosed over and came to rest in an inverted position. Postcrash examination of the engine revealed extensive internal damage. Subsequently, the parts were sent to a metallurgical laboratory for analysis. It was determined that the number one piston had developed in-service fatigue cracks and subsequently disintegrated; which in turn caused the general failure of the engine.

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

The loss of engine power due to the fatigue failure of the number one piston. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

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