NTSB Identification: FTW97LA006.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 06, 1996 in MOUNT PLEASANT, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 175B, registration: N8171T
Injuries: 1 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.
According to the pilot, during cruise flight at 5,000 feet MSL, he smelled oil burning. As engine RPM decreased, the oil pressure dropped toward zero. Subsequently, there was an 'explosion' and the engine seized. During the ensuing forced landing, the airplane impacted trees, and came to rest on the ground in a left wing down attitude. A 3 inch diameter hole was found in the crankcase above the #3 cylinder attach point and the #3 connecting rod was separated. During engine disassembly, one of the connecting rod cap bolts for the #3 cylinder was found destroyed. One of the nuts for the #3 connecting rod cap was found laying in the piston skirt, separated from its bolt. The exterior of the nut and its threads were undamaged to the naked eye. No loose cotter pins were found within the engine. All other connecting rod cap bolts were found attached and cotter pinned. The end cap of the #2 piston pin was missing. The inner surface of the #2 cylinder barrel exhibited longitudinal scoring in the direction of piston action, corresponding to the diameter of the piston pin. 1 day prior to the accident, oil was changed and metal particles were found on the oil screen.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The total loss of engine power due to the #3 connecting rod separation resulting in engine seizure. Factors were the dark night and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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